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X i^i^Ceer^ 







Deputy Keeper of the Records. 








In 1880 and 1881, I contributed to the Archoeo- 
logical Journal a series of papers on ' Dunster and its 
Lords, ' which were afterwards reprinted for private 
circulation, together with a descriptive sketch of 
Dunster Castle by the late Mr. G. T. Clark, and a 
chapter on the Siege and Surrender of Dunster Castle 
by Mr. E. Green. In the years that have since 
elapsed, I have collected a great deal of fresh material, 
and I have now thrown the result of my researches 
into a different form, re-writing the book from 
beginning to end and enlarging it threefold. 

The successive owners of the Castle have always 
been so predominant in Dunster that I have again 
made the general history of the place centre in the 
Mohuns and Luttrells. It has, however, seemed 
expedient to devote a separate chapter to the Castle 
in which they dwelt, and another to the remarkable 
church in which the parishioners worshipped. 

In view of the growing interest in the history of 
economics and social life, I have written an entirely 
new chapter on the Borough and the Manor, mainly 
based upon the court-rolls. A chapter on the topo- 
graphy of Dunster may be of some local interest. 
As the parish comprises the manors of Avill, Staunton 
and Alcombe, and the reputed manor of Foremarsh, 
or at any rate the greater part of them, I have traced 
their respective histories briefly, but without any 


attempt to give biographies of their successive owners. 
The accounts of different branches of the families of 
Mohun and Luttrell not directly connected with 
Dunster printed in the Appendixes were intended to 
be mere genealogical outlines, but they have extended 
to such a length that I have, at the last moment, 
found it desirable to divide the book into two parts, 
paged consecutively. 

A few words must be said with regard to the 
original authorities upon which this volume is based, 
although no explanation is necessary in the case of 
printed books, or of MSS. in the Public Record 
Office, the British Museum, the College of Arms, 
the Lambeth Library, and other great collections. 
Much of my material has been derived from the 
muniments at Dunster Castle, which are very rich in 
conveyances of land, court-rolls, and other documents 
relating to the estate. They were arranged in thirty- 
eight boxes by William Prynne, the celebrated 
controversialist, during his imprisonment at Dunster 
Castle in the middle of the seventeenth century, and 
his general catalogue of them was afterwards much 
improved by Narcissus Luttrell, a man of some liter- 
ary repute. In the footnotes to the present work, the 
muniments at Dunster Castle are indicated by the 
letters — D. C. M., followed by the number of the 
box and by that of the particular document quoted. 

When using manuscripts in the same collection 
subsequent to 1650, I have not been able to give 
specific references, the classification of them being as 
yet incomplete. Most of these later manuscripts 
relate to land or to matters of business, almost all 
the old family correspondence having been long since 
destroyed as useless. The preservation of numerous 
letters and papers concerning elections for the parlia- 


mentary borough of Minehead may have been due 
to an idea that they might furnish precedents. 

There was, in the eighteenth century, a collection 
of nearly a hundred medieval documents in Dunster 
Church, relating to the rights of the burgesses and 
the endovi^ments of the local chantries. Many of 
the more important of them have disappeared, a 
former incumbent of the parish having apparently 
considere;i himself free to do what he would with 
such things. A century ago, a well-known antiquary 
unblushingly referred to some of the originals as 
being in his own possession ; one of them has found 
its way to the Castle. The former contents of one 
of the three ancient chests in the Church are now 
represented by a volume of indifferent transcripts 
made in 171 6, which is in the possession of Mr. 
Luttrell. I have referred to this as D. C. B. 

In June 1908, when the earlier part of the present 
book had been already printed, there was offered 
for sale by auction in London, a folio volume of 
170 leaves of parchment catalogued as " Cartularium 
et jeodarium Dominorum de Mohun'" } On inspection, 
this proved to be a fragment of the important com- 
pilation made, in 1350, by John Osberne, Constable 
of Dunster Castle, as mentioned on page 49 and 
elsewhere. The originals of many of the documents 
transcribed into it had disappeared before Prynne's 
time, but it is interesting to note that such of them 
as still remain in Mr. Luttrell's muniment-room are 
endorsed " irrotulatur^ " in evidence that they had 
been duly entered in the cartulary. I was not so 
fortunate as to secure this manuscript at the sale, and 
I have not been able to obtain direct access to it since. 

• Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge's Catalogue of the Phillipps Collection, 
Lot 545. 


The present owner, however, who wishes to remain 
anonymous, has very kindly supplied me with full 
transcripts of some of its contents, notably the treatise 
on agriculture mentioned on page 321, and the 
agreement between the monks and the parishioners 
of Dunster mentioned on page 393. I take this op- 
portunity of thanking him. 

The volume mentioned above, contains one passage 
which I have quoted in Latin (page 351) from a 
series of extracts made by Richard St. George, Norroy 
King of Arms, in 1610, when the cartulary belonged 
to Sir Reynold Mohun of Boconnoc. The remainder 
of St. George's extracts, to which I have occasionally 
referred, came from leaves which are now unfortun- 
ately missing. 

Some particulars about the foundation of Newen- 
ham Abbey given in Chapter I, are taken from a 
transcript kindly lent to me by the late Mr. John 
Brooking Rowe, of Plympton, of a register of that 
monastery in the Phillipps Library at Thirlestaine 
House, Cheltenham. 

Another manuscript source of information has been 
a " Historical account of the family of the Lutterells, 
from the Conquest, collected from records, history, 
pedigrees and registers, by Narcissus Luttrell, Esq. " 
This is a collection of notes arranged in successive 
reigns down to 1729, which have in some cases 
guided me to original authorities, and in other cases 
supplied genealogical particulars about the younger 
branches of the Luttrell family. The manuscript 
was at one time the property of Dr. Luttrell Wynne, 
grandson of the compiler's sister, and it seems to 
have passed to Mr. Edward W. Stackhouse, whose 
heir, Mr. W. C. Pendarves very appropriately gave 
it to the present owner of Dunster Castle. 


Mr. E. Green has again kindly permitted me to 
reprint, with some trifling verbal alterations, his 
paper on the Siege and Surrender of Dunster Castle. 
It is now incorporated with my own text, and 
divided into two sections, extending respectively from 
page 1 80 to page 182, and from page 187 to page 
194. I am much indebted to him in the matter. 

In quoting from documents written in Latin or 
French, I have translated as literally as circumstances 
would permit, giving any interesting or doubtful 
words in the original language. In English quota- 
tions, I have, through the force of habit, retained the 
old spelling, while extending abbreviations and punc- 
tuating according to sense. Dates between the i st of 
January and the 25th of March, the old beginning of 
the year, have been given throughout according to 
modern practise. 

I have not thought it necessary to cumber my 
pages, already too full of the names of obscure per- 
sons, with lists of the owners of property at Dunster 
at different periods. My friend Mr. Hancock, the 
present Vicar of the parish, has printed lists of the 
churchwardens and overseers, copies of epitaphs, and 
extracts from the local registers. His monograph on 
the Church and Priory has been constantly by my 
side, but I have been constrained to differ from him 
on some historical points and in the interpretation of 
various documents. 

Most of the full-page illustrations that appeared in 
my former book were printed from stones long since 
destroyed. In place of them, there is now a much 
larger series of illustrations, executed by photographic 
processes of the Swan Engraving Company and 
others. The view of the Gateway of the Lower Ward 
(p. 351) is from a negative by Miss Luttrell. All 


the others are from my own negatives of landscapes, 
buildings, portraits and other objects. The Earl of 
Mount Edgcumbe very kindly sent the great Luttrell 
carpet from Cotehele to Dunster, so that it might 
be examined and photographed. The woodcuts of the 
Mohun and Luttrell Seals were drawn, in 1880, by 
my wife and the late Professor Delamotte, for the 
Archceo logical Journal. 

Mr. Luttrell has not only given me every facility 
for consulting his manuscripts and for taking photo- 
graphs in the Castle, but has also shown a continual and 
appreciative interest in my work. Mr. J. H. Davis, 
his sub-agent, has also been very helpful, especially 
with regard to the topography of the town. While 
dealing with difficult architectural problems connected 
with the Church, I have received many valuable 
suggestions from Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, Mr. F. 
Bligh Bond, and Mr. F. C. Eeles. To Mr. W. A. 
Lindsay, Windsor Herald, and Mr. Everard Green, 
Rougedragon Pursuivant, I am indebted for access to 
manuscripts in the College of Arms. Other friends 
have helped me in various ways, and I cannot con- 
clude without expressing my thanks to several of my 
colleagues at the Public Record Office, especially 
Mr. Harley Rodney, who has examined the proof 

3 PoRTMAN Square. 

March 1909. H. C. M. L. 


Dunster is situate in the Hundred of Carhampton, 
in the western division of the county of Somerset, 
162 miles from London, 22 from Taunton, and 15 
from the confines of Devonshire. The parish is 
bounded on the north by the Bristol Channel, on the 
east and south by the parishes of Carhampton, Lux- 
borough, Timberscombe, and Wootton Courtenay, 
and on the west by that of Minehead. It contains 
2870 acres, of which about a third are uncultivated. 
The rateable value is 4933/. 

A ridge known anciently as Grobfast, and now as 
Grabbist, rises in the parish to a height of 760 feet 
above the sea, while the rich pastures below are only 
a few feet above the level of high tide. The little 
town of Dunster stands on a saddleback, sheltered on 
the south by the hanging woods and the heathery 
uplands of the Park, on the west by the steep slopes 
of Grabbist, and on the north by those of Conygar, 
where oaks and hollies have taken the place of rough 
pasture frequented by rabbits. At the southeastern 
extremity of the town is the isolated, conical hill 
known as the ' Tor ', for centuries crowned by the 
defensive works of a mighty castle. 

The views from the higher ground in the parish 
of Dunster are remarkable for their beauty and variety. 
Although comparatively circumscribed on the south by 
a bare spur of the Brendon Hills, they extend westward 


up the rich vale of Avill to Dunkery, the highest 
point of Exmoor, and one of the highest points in 
the west of England. On the north, they command 
a long stretch of the Welsh Coast, backed by the 
Brecon Beacons and other mountains. Eastward, they 
range over a great expanse of sea and land, the Flat 
Holmes, the Steep Holmes, Brean Down at the end 
of the Mendip Hills, the alabaster cliffs near Watchet, 
and the long line of the Quantocks, being prominent 
features in the landscape. 

The parish is traversed by a clear stream descending 
from Exmoor, formerly known as the Dunster River, 
but now usually called the Avill, which supplied 
motive power for several grist-mills, and for various 
fulling-mills now disused. Numerous rills flowing 
out of it irrigate the rich meadows on either side. 
In the lower part of its course, the main stream is 
now the boundary between the parishes of Dunster 
and Carhampton. After winding its way through 
alluvial land near Marsh, it discharges into the Bristol 
Channel by the Hawn, the ancient haven of Dunster, 
frequently mentioned in medieval documents, but 
now silted up. 

The site of Dunster must have been known to the 
Roman colonists of Britain, for some copper coins of 
the reigns of Maximian and Constantine were found, 
about 1863, in the Park, close to the former highway 
from Gallocks Cross to Carhampton. Its recorded 
history, however, does not begin before the time of 
Edward the Confessor, when it belonged to a certain 
^Ifric (Aluric), who also held Broadwood, Avill, and 
Bratton, in the immediate neighbourhood. All these 
places were bestowed by William the Conqueror 
upon William de Moion, one of his Norman followers, 
the first of a long series of feudal barons. 


The site of William de Moion's castle is described 
in the Exchequer Domesday as ' Torre ', and in the 
Exeter Domesday as ' Torra '. In a charter granted 
by him to the monks of Bath, between the years 
1090 and 1 1 00, the place is called ' Dunestore' and 
' Donesthorra '. The second part of the compounded 
name indicates a projecting rock, like the Tors of 
Devonshire and Derbyshire. The origin of the first 
part of the name is less certain. Inasmuch as the 
place is never called Duntor, or Dunetor, any inter- 
pretation must take account of the ' s ' or ' es ' vv^hich 
alv^^ays precedes the final syllable. Tv^o alternatives 
seem possible. Dunster may have been the ' tor ' of 
the dunes, or hills ; or it may have been the ' tor ' of a 
man named Dun. In support of the latter theory, it 
may be observed that among the estates granted to 
William de Moion by the Conqueror were one at 
Exford which had belonged to Domno or Donnus, 
and another at Elworthy which had belonged to 
Dunne or Dunna. 

Ecclesiastically, Dunster is in the Archdeaconry 
of Taunton, and it gives its name to the Deanery of 
which it is the chief place. Its cruciform church is, 
from an architectural point of view, the most impor- 
tant in the neighbourhood. The parish comprises 
the ancient manors of Dunster, Avill, Staunton and 
Alcombe, and part of the reputed manor of Foremarsh. 
The population, which was 772 in 1801, had risen 
to 1 1 84 by 1 85 1, since which time it has been 
practically stationary. The local woollen industry 
being extinct, most of the inhabitants are connected 
with agriculture. There are various shops in the 
town of Dunster, and a few at Alcombe. 



The Mohuns of Dunster, 1066- 1404 .... i 

The early Luttrells, 1191-1403 ..... 59 

The Luttrells of Chilton and Dunster, 1 337-1 485 . . 75 


The Luttrells of Dunster, 1485-1551 .... 129 


The Luttrells of Dunster, 1 551-1644 . . . . 166 


The Luttrells of Dunster, 1644- 17 37 . . . . i86 

The Fownes Luttrells of Dunster, 1 737-1 780. . . 225 


The Fownes Luttrells of Dunster, 17 80- 1908. . . 262 


The Borough and the Manor of Dunster . . . 276 



The topography of Dunster ...... 329 

Dunster Castle 349 

Dunster Church and Priory . . . . . . 383 


The Manor of Avill 434 


The Manor of Staunton ...... 443 


The Manor of Alcombe 455 


Lower Marsh ........ 458 


The Mohuns of Ham Mohun in Dorset . 
The Mohuns of Fleet in Dorset 
The Mohuns of Hall and Boconnoc in Cornwall 
The Mohuns of Tavistock .... 
Some Mohuns not placed .... 



The Arms and Seals of the Mohuns .... 498 


The Luttrells of Irnham in Lincolnshire .... 505 

The Luttrells of East Down in Devonshire and Spaxton in 

Somerset . . . . . . . . 510 

The Luttrells of Honibere in Somerset and Hartland 

Abbey in Devonshire . . . . . . 513 



The Luttrells of Saunton Court in Devonshire, and their 

descendants. ...... 

John Luttrell of Mapperton in Dorset and his descendants 
The Luttrells of Rodhuish in Somerset . 
Alexander Fownes Luttrell (i) and his descendants . 
Francis Fownes Luttrell and his descendants . 
Alexander Fownes Luttrell (2) and his descendants . 



The Luttrells of Luttrellstown near Dublin . , . 539 


The Arms and Seals of the Luttrells . . . . 54 ^ 


List of the Priors of Dunster. . . . . . 552 

List of the Vicars and Curates of Dunster . . . 553 


GENERAL INDEX . . . 56 1 



Sir John Luttrell. 

Dunster Castle, from the river 

Joan, Lady de Mohun, and Philippa, Duchess of 

(after Stothard) .... 
Effigies of Sir Hugh Luttrell and his wife 
Arms of Sir James Luttrell . 
Dame Elizabeth Luttrell 
Arms of Sir Andrew Luttrell 
George Luttrell ..... 
Col. Francis Luttrell .... 
Mary Luttrell (Lady Bancks) 
Anne Luttrell (Mrs. Pleydell) 

Dorothy Luttrell 

Alexander Luttrell .... 
Margaret Fownes Luttrell (Mrs. Southcote) 
Mary Drewe (Mrs. Fownes Luttrell) 
John Fownes Luttrell . 
George Fownes Luttrell 
Dunster, from the Hanger 
The Grist-mill, Dunster 
The High Street, Dunster 
Overmantels, Dunster . 

To face title. 





Luttrell Arms Hotel, Dunster, the entrance . 

A cottage doorway, St. George's Street, Dunster 

Gallocks bridge, Dunster 

A cottage doorway. Water Street, Dunster 

Map of the town of Dunster . 

Gateway of the Lower Ward, Dunster Castle 

Plan of the Gatehouse, Dunster Castle . 

The Gatehouse, Dunster Castle, from below 

South-west view of Dunster Castle. 

The Stables, Dunster Castle . 

The Great Staircase, Dunster Castle 

Plan of the mansion-house, Dunster Castle 

Antony receiving Cleopatra . 

Antony crowning Cleopatra . 

The Gatehouse, Dunster Castle, from the Green Court 

Turned chair, Dunster Castle 

Fireplace in the Hall, Dunster Castle 

Dunster Church, from the south . 

Dunster Church, interior 

Arch in the south transept, Dunster Church 

Plan of Dunster Church 

Lower Marsh, the entrance . 

Seals, 1-3 . 

Seals, 4-7 . 

Sir Andrew Luttrell 

Charlotte Drewe (Mrs. 

Seals, 8-10 . 

Seals, 1 1 -1 4 

Seals, 15-18 

Seals, 19-22 

Seals, 23-27 

Seals, 28-35 

F. Fownes Luttrell) 




Old tile in Dunster Church, with the arms of Mohun 
Standard-bearer, from the Luttrell Psalter 
Swan-marks ...... 

Pipe-head at East Quantockshead . 
Shield at the Luttrell Arms Hotel . 
Heraldic Tablet on the Gate-house, Dunster Castle 
John Wyther and Agnes Wyther . . , 

Old glass quarry in Dunster Church 
Fragment of ancient glass, Dunster Church 
Elizabethan chalice and paten, Dunster Church 
Thomas Mohun ...... 

John Mohun and Anne Mohun 






The Mohuns of Dunster 
1066 — 1404. 

William de Mohun, the progenitor of the noble 
house which held Dunster for more than three 
centuries, and flourished afterwards in Cornwall and 
Dorset, took his name from Moyon near St. Lo in 
Normandy, in which country the family had consid- 
erable possessions until its separation from the crown 
of England. His descendants in turn gave their 
name to Hammoon in Dorset, to Ottery Mohun and 
Tormoham in Devon, and to Grange Mohun in the 
county of Kildare. In England, their surname was 
spelt at different times Moion and Moyon, Moiun 
and Moyun, Moun, Mooun, Moyhun and Mohun, 
and just as the illustrious name of Bohun degenerated 
into Boon, that of Mohun got corrupted into Moon \ 
With regard to the pronunciation of it, there is an 
interesting note of the fourteenth century to the 
effect that the change from Moion to Mohun had 
involved the loss of a syllable. ^ 

The domain of Moyon is mentioned in 1027 as 
part of the dower of Adela, Duchess of Normandy, 
but nothing whatever is known as to the parentage 
of WilUam de Mohun who came over to England 

' For the sake of uniformity, the following pages, except in quotations, 
name will be given as Mohun in the • Devon Notes & Queries, vo]. iv. p. 20. 


with William the Conqueror. ^ There is an oft- 
repeated statement that he then had in his retinue 
fifty-seven (or forty-seven) " stout knights of name 
and repute, " and a narrative in old French professes 
to enumerate them. It begins : — 

" Be it known that in the year of the grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ one thousand and sixty-six, on Saturday the 
feast of St. Calixtus, came William the Bastard, Duke of 
Normandy, cousin of the noble king St. Edward, the son 
of Emma of England, and killed King Harold and took 
away the land from him by the aid of the Normans and 
other men of other lands ; among whom came with him 
Sir William de Moion the old, the noblest of all the host. 
This William de Moion had in his retinue in the host all 
the great lords after named, as it is written in the Book of 
the Conquerors. " 

Then follows a list of fifty-seven names, among 
which may be noticed those of Marmion, Paignel, 
Basqueville, Corcye, Lacy, Columbers, Bullebek, 
Tregoz, Montfichet, and Bigot. ^ This has been 
described as " a following worthy of an Emperor." 
When, however, we turn to Wace's Roman de Rou^ 
we there find the same names standing in the same 
order, but with this important difference that of 
William de Mohun we read only : — 

" Le viel JVillam de Moion 
Out avec li maint compaignon. 

Wace does not even hint that the knights whose 
names follow that of Mohun were in any way 
dependent on him, and it is now practically certain 
that the whole story is due to an unscrupulous Abbot 
of Newenham who wished to gratify the vanity of 
the Mohuns living in the middle of the fourteenth 

• Rotuh Scaccarii Normannice (ed. * Leland's Collectanea, vol. i. p. 202. 

Stapleton), vol. i. pp. Ixxxii, Ixxxiii. 


century. ^ As Mr. Planche remarks, this writer 
might " have included half the army if an unmistake- 
able full stop and change of subject had not pulled 
him up short with the death of Robert Fitz Erneis. 
.... Le Livre des Conquerors turns out to be the 
Roman de Rou. " ^ 

Although William de Mohun is styled * le viel^ 
it does not follow that he was aged at the time of 
the Norman Conquest, the epithet being applied to 
distinguish him from his namesake who was living 
when Wace wrote his poem. 

Turning from fable to fact, we find that William 
de Mohun was a person of considerable importance 
in the reign of William the Conqueror, who assigned 
to him a large estate in the west of England, formed 
by the aggregation of lands that had belonged to 
various Englishmen killed or ejected. At the time 
of the Domesday Survey of 1086, he held fifty-six 
separate manors in Somerset, eleven in Dorset, one 
in Devon and one in Wiltshire. The greater number 
of these had already been apportioned by him to 
different tenants, to be held of him and his heirs on 
the usual conditions of military service. Several of 
these tenants had more than one manor apiece. 
Most of them bore Norman names and were doubt- 
less men who had come over in the train of the 
Conqueror. In one case, an Englishman had been 
suffered to continue in possession, although placed in 
subjection to the new Norman lord. ^ 

Eighteen of the manors in Somerset and six of 
those in Dorset remained in William de Mohun's 

' Devon Notes and Queries, vol. iv. ^ " Brictric holds of William Sorde- 

pp. 249-250. maneford. The same Brictric held it in 

2 The Conqueror and his Companions, the time of King Edward. " Domesday 

I vol. ii. p. 22. Book, f. 96. 


own hands in 1086, but the number was gradually 
reduced by the enfeoffment of fresh knights and by 
grants to several religious houses. Some of the 
manors most distant from Dunster were also exchanged 
with the king, before the year i 1 00, for that of 
Carhampton and the Hundred of the same name. 
One effect of this was that the little Hundreds of 
Cutcombe and Minehead, which are mentioned in the 
Gheld Inquest of 1084, became ere long absorbed into 
the Hundred of Carhampton. The castle built by 
William de Mohun on the isolated Tor which gave 
its name to Dunster, became the head of an important 
Honour, or Barony, comprising forty knights' fees 
in the reign of Henry the First, and afterwards 
enlarged. The manors retained in demesne about 
the middle of the twelfth century were those of 
Dunster, Minehead, Cutcombe, Kilton and Car- 
hampton in Somerset, and Ham in Dorset. 

Reverting to Domesday, it is worthy of notice that 
William de Mohun kept thirty-six brood mares at 
Cutcombe and twenty-two at Brewham at the other 
end of the county. He was Sheriff of Somerset at 
the time of the Gheld Inquest of 1084 and at that 
of the great survey of 1086. Indeed it is probable 
that he held office for a considerable period, and that 
he was sometimes known as ' William the Sheriff.' ' 
His estate at Stockland came to be called ' the 
Sheriff's town, ' afterwards corrupted into ' Shereve- 
ton' or 'Shurton,' and some of his land near Kilton is 
still known as ' Shervidge. ' ^ On the other hand his 
manor of Sheriff's Brompton (Brunetone Vicecomitis) 
eventually lost that name and became Brompton 

' Bruton Cartulary, no. 3. Wilts alike belonged to sheriffs in 1086. 

* Shroton in Dorset and Shrewton in 


Ralph, when held under the lord of Dunster by 
Ralph son of William son of Durand de Mohun. 

A translation of the charter of the first William de 
Mohun to the monks of Bath will be given in a 
subsequent chapter, and in this place it is only 
necessary to observe that it mentions his wife Adelisa, 
his sons Geoffrey and Robert and his brother Wilmund. 
Durand the steward (dapifer) also mentioned in it 
seems to have been known later as Durand de Mohun, 
but it is impossible to say whether he was a relation 
of the Norman lords of Dunster or merely a native 
of Moyon who held under them. 

William de Mohun the second was almost cer- 
tainly a son of the Conqueror's companion in arms. ^ 
Whether he was the firstborn is more problematical 
in view of the fact that he is not named, either as a 
consenting party or as a witness, in the very important 
charter by which his predecessor granted the church 
of Dunster and other endowments to the monks of 
Bath. The earliest notice of him is in the year 11 3 1, 
when he attended the council of Northampton. ^ 
Seven years later, he is mentioned as one of the prin- 
cipal nobles who espoused the cause of the Empress 
Maud against Stephen, his castle of Dunster being 
reckoned as one of the main strongholds of her 
party. ^ In describing the events of 11 38, a hostile 
chronicler writes as follows : — 

" At that time, William de Moiun, a man not only of 
the highest rank but also of illustrious lineage, raised a 
mighty revolt against the King, and, collecting some bands 

' A charter of William de Mohun, father and his father. D. C. M. xvi. 7. 

which may be ascribed to the third of ^ Sarum Charters, (R. S.) p. 7. 

that name, confirms the gifts made to ^ Henry of Hntitiugdoii, (R. S.) p. 261. 
Ihe church of Dunster by his grand- 


of horsemen and footmen at his fortress, which he had 
placed in a fair and impregnable position by the sea-shore, 
began to overrun all that part of England in warlike manner, 
sweeping it as with a whirlwind. At all places and at all 
times, laying aside his loyalty, he set himself to work his 
cruel will, to subdue by violence not only his neighbours 
but others living afar off, to oppress with robbery and 
pillage, with fire and sword, any who resisted, and merci- 
lessly to subject all wealthy persons whom he met to chains 
and tortures. By so doing, he changed a realm of peace 
and quiet, of joy and merriment, into a scene of strife and 
rebellion, weeping and lamentation. 

" When in course of time these doings were made known 
to the king, he gathered his adherents together in a mighty 
host and marched with all speed to put an end to WiUiam's 
savagery. But when he came to a halt before the entrance 
of the castle and saw the impregnable defences of the place, 
inaccessible on the one side where it was washed by the 
tide and very strongly fortified on the other by towers and 
walls, by a rampart (vallo) and outworks, he gave up all 
hope of carrying it by siege, and, taking wiser counsels, 
blockaded the castle in full view of the enemy, so that he 
might the better hold them in check and occupy the 
neighbouring country in security. He also gave orders to 
Henry de Tracy, a skilled soldier, oft approved in the 
hazards of war, that acting in his stead, because he was called 
away to other business, he should with all promptitude and 
diligence bestir himself against the enemy. 

" Henry therefore, in the King's absence, set forth from 
Barnstaple, a town belonging to him and enjoying privileges 
granted to him by the King, and made vigorous and deter- 
mined attacks on his foes, so that he not only restrained their 
wonted sallies and their unbridled, marauding raids in the 
neighbourhood, but also captured a hundred and four 
horsemen in one cavalry encounter. At length, he so 
reduced and humbled William that he was able to abandon 
further hostilities against him and to leave the country more 
peaceful and free from such disturbance. " ' 

' Gesta Stephani, (R. S.) pp. 51, 52. 




Considering that the writer shows a minute know- 
ledge of places in the west of England such as Bristol, 
Bath and Exeter, it may seem strange that he should 
describe Dunster Castle as situate on the coast. 
There is, however, no doubt that the sea in that 
neighbourhood has receded considerably since his 
time, and it has been suggested as possible that the 
low ground on the east was sometimes flooded. 

Tracy's operations certainly did not reduce William 
de Mohun to final subjection, and his royal mistress 
set so high a value on his services to her that she 
raised him to the rank of an earl between the months 
of April and June 1 141. Under the name of ' Earl 
William de Moion, ' he was a witness to a charter 
issued by her at Westminster at Midsummer in that 
year. ^ The anonymous chronicler already quoted is 
in error both as to the date of the creation and as to 
the title bestowed, for he says that at the siege of 
Winchester, which was in August and September 
1 141, the Empress created William de Mohun Earl 
of Dorset. ^ There is no doubt that William de 
Mohun styled himself ' Earl of Somerset. ' ^ In most 
cases, he is described simply as ' the Earl. ' ^ The 
chronicler's confusion as to the title is pardonable in 
view of the fact that for administrative purposes 
Somerset and Dorset were often reckoned as one 
county, having a sheriff in common. 

Some years before this, William de Mohun had 
married a lady named Agnes, who seems to have 
brought to him and his descendants the manor of 
Whichford, situate in Warwickshire but formerly 

Round's Geoffrey de MandeviUe, $2,^7; Valor Ecclesiasticus,\olA, p.iso. 

PP- 93. 95. 96, 277. * Brutoii Cartulary, nos. 5, 54, 56, 

^ Gcsla Sfcphani, p. 80. 66, 230, 231. 
* Bruton Cartulary (S.R.S.), nos. i, 2, 


belonging to Northamptonshire. Although the name 
of her father is not stated, a suggestion may be 
offered with some confidence that she was a daughter 
of Walter of Gaunt, who, as a grandson of Baldwin 
Count of Flanders, was first cousin to William the 
Second and Henry the First, Kings of England and 
Dukes of Normandy. Such a connexion might 
account for the chronicler's allusion to the very high 
social position of her husband. Certain it is that 
Whichford belonged to Gilbert of Gaunt in 1086, 
that his son Walter founded a priory of Augustinian 
canons at Bridlington, in Yorkshire, and that William 
de Mohun and Agnes his wife gave the church of 
Whichford to that priory in the reign of Henry the 
the First. ^ Without some such explanation, it would 
be difficult to account for this benefaction to a 
religious house situate so far from Dunster. The 
grant, however, seems to have been limited to the 
lifetimes of William and Agnes, for the advowson 
afterwards reverted to the Mohuns and was enjoyed 
by them and their descendants, the Stranges and the 
Stanleys, until the reign of Elizabeth. ' 

The favour of the Earl of Somerset to the Augus- 
tinian order was further shown by his establishment 
of a priory at Bruton, in the eastern part of the 
county of Somerset. The charters by which he 
granted to the regular canons the church of that 
place, with its tithes, dues, and rights, and common 
pasture in his manor of Brewham, bear no date, but 
may be referred to the year 1 142. ^ It was by his 
advice that one of his feudal tenants, Robert son 
of Geoffrey, bestowed upon them the church of 

' Domesday Book, i. 227" ; Dugdale's shire, (ed. 1765) pp. 417, 418. 
Monasticon vol. vi, pp. 285-287. '' Bruton Cartulary, nos. I, 2, 376 ; 

^ Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwick- Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. vi. p. 335. 


Luxborough near Dunster, of which he increased the 
endowment. ^ 

A grant of some land at Lydeard to the Augustinian 
canons of Taunton by WilHam de Mohun may be 
attributed either to the Earl of Somerset or his son. ^ 

The Earl of Somerset had by Agnes his wife six 
sons : — 

Ralph, for the benefit of whose soul he gave some 
land at Avelham to the church of Dunster. " 

William, his successor. 

Henry, who seems to have inherited the maternal 
estate at Whichford, as, in 1162, he paid scutage 
for a knight's fee in Warwickshire. * A person 
of the same name was connected with Hampshire 
in 1 167.* 


Richard, a clerk, beneficed on the paternal estate in 
Normandy, but generally resident in England. ' 

Peter, also a clerk.^ 

William de Mohun the third was a witness to 
his father's charter in favour of the Augustinian 
canons of Bruton. " He seems to have succeeded 
him in or before 1 1 55, as the Pipe Rolls, which then 
begin to be continuous, do not record any payment by 
him to the Crown by way of relief on the death of 
his father. He did not style himself Earl of Somer- 
set, King Stephen having presumably declined to 
recognise that title as conferred by the Empress 
Maud. In some of his earher charters, he is described 

» Braton Cartulary, nos. 230, 232. " Bruton Cartulary, nos. i, 4, 66, 69, 

- Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. vi. 71, 230, 430. 

p. 166. ' ^h'd. nos. I. 64, 75, 230, 399, 400, 

3 D. CM. XVI 7. 401 : Calendar of documents ill France 

< Brnton Cartulary, nos. i, 75; Pipe (ed. Round), vol. i. p. 176. 

Roll, 8 Hen. II, p. 2. * Brnton Cartulary, nos. i, 230. 

5 Pipe Roll, 13 Hen. II, p. 189. ^ Ibid. no. i. 


as William de Mohun 'the younger {juvenis).' For 
the benefit of the souls of his father WilHam, his 
mother Agnes, and his brethren, he gave to the 
Augustinian canons of Bruton, sixty acres near the 
pond at Brewham and pannage for a hundred hogs 
in Selwood Forest. ^ He furthermore endowed 
them with the church of Cutcombe near Dunster, 
the church of Lyons, in Normandy, with the tithe 
of his fisheries there, and property at Brewham and 
Redlinch. ^ He also confirmed the gifts of his 
grandfather and father to the Benedictine monks of 
Bath. ' 

In the time of the third William de Mohun, the 
Honour of Dunster comprised forty-six and a half 
fees held by different military tenants. It may fairly 
be surmised that the number had been originally 
fixed at forty and that one had been acquired by 
marriage. Five and a half knights' fees are distinctly 
stated to have been " of the new feoffment, " that is 
to say creations of the period subsequent to the reign 
of Henry the First, and when an aid was levied, in 
1 1 68, on account of the marriage of the King's 
daughter, William de Mohun refused to pay on more 
than forty-one, persisting in this refusal until the end 
of his life. ^ In Normandy too he had eleven knights 
under him, although he was accountable to his royal 
master for only five. ^ 

William de Mohun the third married a lady named 
Godehold, who brought to him, as her inheritance or 
portion, the manor of Brinkley, in Cambridgeshire ^ 

* Bruton Cartulary, no. 4. Hen. II. p. 3 ; 22 Hen. II. p. 155. 

' /6/rf. nos. 66, 67, 69, 71, 75,221, 226, '" Red Book of the Exchequer (R. S.) 

395, 397- P- 629. 

» D.C.M. XVI. 7. « Curia Regis Roll, no. 48, m. 7". 

* Pipe Rolls, 14 Hen. II. p. 143 ; 75 


He died in 1176, and she was apparently dead in 
1 186. ^ They had issue several children : — 

William, successor to his father. 

Geoffrey, who was enfeoffed by his brother of the 
manor of Ham, in Dorset. This he forfeited by 
espousing the cause of John, Count of Mortain, 
against his brother King Richard. " 

John, ancestor of the Mohuns of Ham. ^ 

Thomas, who had the churches of Moyon and Tessy 
sur-Vire, and perhaps other ecclesiastical benefices 
in Normandy and England. * 

Robert. ' 

Agnes, who married William of Windsor. She had 
for her portion an estate at and near Bicknoller, 
which her descendants for several generations held 
of the Honour of Dunster by military service. '' 

William de Mohun the fourth was, while a 
boy, named as a witness to a charter of his father in 
favour of the canons of Bruton. ^ Being still under 
age at the death of his father in 1 176, he became a 
ward of the King. Richard, Bishop of Winchester 
was soon appointed to look after him and to admin- 
ister his estates. The normal rent of the manors 
was 44/. 3X. 4^. but part of Dunster is described as 
'' waste ; " the tolls there did not yield the amount 
expected ; and the mills of Dunster and Carhampton 
alike showed a decline in revenue. There were also 
some charges for the repair of the mill, the cultiva- 
tion of the vineyard, and the wages of servants. On 

1 Pipe Roll, 22 Hen. II. p. 155 ; Caleii- vol. i. p. lyS- 

dar of documents in France [tA.'Roxmd], '' Ibid.p. 2S'^. 

vol i p 780 ^ Pole MS. at Queen's College, 

i Pipe Roils. Oxford, f. 64" ; Feet of Fines, Somer- 

' See Appendix. set, 20 Hen. III. (Green, i. 85.) 

* Cah-iidnr of documents in France, ' Bruton Cartulary, no. 397. 


the other hand, the King got 1 9/. clear from the sale 
of corn and wine from the lands in demesne which 
were not reckoned in the rental. By royal order, a 
sum of 18/. was allowed for the maintenance of the 
heir for a year and a half. ^ His mother presumably 
had dower at Minehead or Kilton, in addition to her 
own property at Brinkley. 

William de Mohun appears to have received 
livery of his lands in 1 1 'j']^ as the Crown then 
ceased to get the profits of them. There is, how- 
ever, a very perplexing entry in the Pipe Roll of 
1 182, where the Sheriff accounts for \is. \d. derived 
" from the wreck of Dunestor." On the one hand it 
suggests that the lord of that place was entitled to 
wreck of sea on part of the southern coast of the 
Bristol Channel ; on the other hand it shows that 
receipts from that franchise were paid into the 

Following the example of his father, William de 
Mohun the fourth described himself as 'the younger' 
in his earliest charter to the canons of Bruton, but 
afterwards dropped that designation.^ He confirmed 
to them all the gifts of his grandfather, his father, 
and his different tenants in England and Normandy, 
and added to their endowments the church and the 
mill of Minehead and the tithe of the mills of 
Cutcombe. ^ He furthermore made over to them 
all his right of ecclesiastical patronage at Brinkley, 
Minehead and Todbere in England, and at Moyon, 
Tessy-sur-Vire, Beaucoudrai and Deodville in Nor- 
mandy, subject to the life interest of his brother 
Thomas. "* Finally he gave them the right of choosing 

' Pipe Roll, 25 Hen. II. p. 25. * Calendar of documents in France, 

* Bruton Cartnhiry, no. 5. vol. i, p. 178. 

* Ibid. nos. 223, 224, 240, 245. 


a prior from among themselves, upon condition that 
they should present the person so chosen to him or 
his heirs, whether in England or in Normandy \ 
This condition was faithfully observed for generation 
after generation, and when the main line of the 
Mohuns became extinct, the canons continued the 
practice, by presenting their priors elect to the Lut- 
trells of Dunster, as successors in title, though not in 
blood, to the older lords of that place. - In the 
middle of the fourteenth century, there was a very 
ancient custom that whenever the lord or lady of 
Dunster went to stay at Bruton Priory, the canons 
should provide two wax candles to burn all night in 
the bedroom. ^ 

By a charter pubhshed at Montchaton in 1186, 
William de Mohun granted the tithe of his mills 
at Moyon, Tessy-sur-Vire and Beaucoudrai to the 
Premonstratensian canons of La Luzerne, on condi- 
tion that they should keep his anniversary, and that 
one of their number, in perpetual succession, should 
be specially bound to offer prayers for the soul of his 
mother Godeheut. * 

In arranging that his anniversary should be kept at 
Bruton Priory year after year, William de Mohun 
mentioned his purpose of going on pilgrimage to 
Jerusalem, and it is quite possible that he died 
abroad. ^ The date of his death may be placed in 
October 1193, but several months elapsed before 
William de Ste. Mere Eglise took possession of the 
Honour of Dunster in the King's name, the heir 

> BiufonCartulary,no. 7 iPatentRoW, * St. George's extracts from the 

20 Edvv. Ill, pt. 2, m. 24. Mohun Chronicle. 

- D.C.M. XXXVII. 2, 3. 5, 8 13, 14, 18, * Calendar of documents in France, 

25. Hist. MSB. Comm. Tenth Report, vol. i. p. 282. Cf. Add. Charter 13414. 

App. VI. p. 78. ' Bruton Cartulary, no. 245. 


being a minor. ^ The Honour of Moyon in Nor- 
mandy was about the same time committed to the 
charge of Richard de Humez. "^ The dower of Lucy 
de Mohun, WiUiam's rehct, included only seven of 
his English fees, approximately a sixth of the whole 
number. ^ She eventually obtained from the Crown 
a lease of his paternal estate at Moyon in Normandy 
for a yearly rent of 50/. and a fine of 20/. * 

William de Mohun the fourth and Lucy his wife 
had issue two sons, William and Reynold. The 
former is named as a witness to three of his father's 
charters at a time when he was clearly under age ^ 
It is, however, impossible to say whether he survived 
his father. For some ten years, the Honour of 
Dunster remained in the hands of the King and was 
administered by his agents William de Ste. Mere 
Eglise, William of Wrotham, Nicholas Puinz, 
Reynold of Clifton, Hugh de Gurnai and Hubert de 
Burgh. The income was mainly from Dunster and 
Carhampton, and the outgoings were very small. 
At the Castle itself a doorkeeper and a watchman 
were maintained by royal order, but the accounts say 
nothing about the wardship of the heir. A clerk 
named Richard who had a pension of the gift of 
William de Mohun, may have been the last surviving 
son of the Earl of Somerset. ® 

There was some trouble at Dunster, perhaps poli- 
tical, between the death of Richard the First, and 
the coronation of his brother. ' 

' Rotuli Scaccarii Normannice, (ed. * Rotuli Scaccarii Normannice,vo].ii. 

Stapleton) vol. ii. p. x ; Pipe Roll. p. 296. 

* Rotuli Scaccatii Normannice, vol. i. * Bruton Cartulary, nos. 6, 7, 73. 

p. 244. * Pipe Rolls, 6-10 Ric. I. and 1-7 

^ Rotulus Cancellarii, 5 Johannis, John; Rotiilus CanccUarii, ^Johannis, 

pp. 143, 209; Rotuli de Oblatis &c, pp. 198, 205-211. 

p. 135. <■ Rotuli Curia: Regis, vol. ii. p. 12 r. 


When King John was at Le Mans in January 1 203, 
he gave orders to the seneschal of Normandy to 
dehver to Hubert de Burgh, the Chamberlain, all 
the land of Reynold de Mohun in that duchy, except 
some that had been committed to another person \ 
At the beginning of May, when he was at Falaise, 
we read : — 

" Hubert de Burgh, the Chamberlain, was commanded 
by letters patent to warn and induce Reynold de Moyhun 
to accept from the King an exchange in England for his 
land at Lyons near Caen, and for this cause to send him to 
the King, or else his letters patent. " * 

In other words, a young man, legally under age, 
was to be compelled by his guardian to execute a deed 
surrendering part of his patrimony, unless he preferred 
to undertake a journey across the sea on the chance 
of obtaining tolerable terms from the King. The 
rolls of the period do not contain any further refer- 
ence to the subject. 

Reynold de Mohun obtained possession of Dunster 
Castle and the chief part of his inheritance in July 
1204.^ Whichford, in Warwickshire, was made over 
to him some two months later, and he established his 
right to Brinkley, in Cambridgeshire, as the heir of 
Godehold de Mohun, who had owned the manor in 
fee. * He seems to have taken a prominent part 
in the invasion of France in the summer of 1206, as 
the sheriff of Devon was then ordered to provide 
him with a ship at the King's expense. ^ Four years 
later, he was one of the knights who accompanied 
John in his expedition to Ireland. ^ 

' Rotuli Normannict, p. 68. Curia Regis Rolls.nos. 47, m.3 ; 48, mjd. 

- Rotuli Lift. Patentinm, vol. i. p. 29. ■' Rotuli Litt. Clausarnm, vol. i. 

■' Ibid. p. 44. PP- 71, 72- 

* Rotttli Litt. Clausarnm, vo\.\. p. ()\ ^ RotuUde Liberate, pp. 181,20^,216. 


To the canons of Bruton, Reynold de Mohun 
confirmed all the gifts of his ancestors, by two charters 
apparently issued on the same day, the one dealing 
with property in England and Normandy alike, and 
the other dealing exclusively with property in 
England. ^ On the separation of Normandy from 
England, he had to make his choice between King 
Philip and King John, and, as his chief estates lay in 
England, he declared in favour of the latter. The 
original possessions of his ancestors were consequently 
escheated to the French Crown. ' There is some 
difficulty in tracing their subsequent history, but it 
appears that some of them were eventually recovered 
by a younger branch of the Mohun family. 
Although Alan de Avalgor is described as ' lord of 
Moyon ' in 1254, an estate at Maisons which had 
belonged to the Mohuns of Dunster was, at a later 
date, in the possession of Joan de la Pommeraie, 
daughter of Henry de Moyon. ^ A deed of 1290 
shows that this lady was the relict of Gislain de la 
Pommeraie, and a niece of William de Courcy, and 
that she had had a brother named Henry de Moyon *. 
A certain William de Moyon also occurs in 1266, in 
connexion with Friardel. " Some ruins of a castle 
may still be seen at Moyon, where it is now known 
as Le vieux chateau d Ha'mneville^ situate on high 
ground and protected by a broad, deep moat, full of 
water. It is believed to have once had a central keep 
and a double line of walls. 


1 Bruton Cartulary, no. 58 ; Patent * Danisy, Archives duCalvados,vo\.\. 

Rolls, 20 Edw. Ill, p. 2, m. 24 ; p. 31. 

36 Edw. Ill, p. 2, m. 22. ^ Ibid. p. 406. 

^ Rotuli Scaccarii NormaJinice,vol.ii. •* Information kindly obtained, in 

p. X. 1904, by M, Jnles Lair, Membre de 

^ Bruton Cartulary, nos. 424, 433, L'Institut, from the Archivist of La 

434. Manche. 


Reynold de Mohun married Alice, one of the 
daughters of Sir William Briwere, a man of great 
consequence in his day. ^ By her he seems to have 
had issue four sons : — 

Reynold, successor to his father. 

William, a benefactor to Cleeve Abbey and the 
prime mover in the foundation of Newenham 
Abbey. ^ He married Juliana de Vernon. ^ Dying 
at Norton, in Cornwall, in 1265, he was buried 
before the high altar at Newenham, near his elder 
brother. * 

Baldwin, a priest. He was rector of Brinkley, in 
Cambridgeshire in 1261. ^ Some five years later, 
he was presented by the Abbot of Newenham to 
the living of Luppit, in Devon, which he vacated 
in 1267. ® 

Richard. ^ 

Reynold de Mohun of Dunster died in 1 2 1 3, when 
he was barely thirty years of age. Alice his relict mar- 
ried secondly William Paynel of Bampton, in Devon, 
a Crusader, who died in 1228.^ Some five years later, 
she succeeded to a considerable estate in the west of 
England, on the death of her brother, WiUiam Briwere 
the younger. ^ Through her the Mohuns inherited 
the manors of Torre, Ugborough, Cadleigh, Brad- 
worthy and Axminster, in Devon, and He Brewer, 
in Somerset, and various knights' fees elsewhere. 

' Oliver's Monashcon Dioecesis Exon. « Newenham Register f. 43; Brones- 

pp. 190, 362 ; Dictionary of National combe's Register, f. 36". 

Biograf>hv, vol. vi. p. 299. ^ Oliver's Monasticon Dioecesis Exou. 

* Dugdale'sMonashcon,vol. V. p. 733. p. 39- 

3 Calendar of Inquisitions,Henry III. * Excerpta e Rotulis Finium, vol. 1. 

p. 188 ; Excerpta e Rotulis Finium, pp. 167, 173 ; Close Rolls, 1227-12?!, 

vol. ii. p. 327. PP- 24, 64. 

* Oliver, p. 363. ' Excerpta, p. 242 ; Close Rolls, 1231- 

* Feet of Fines, Cambridge, 45 1234, pp. 22^,229, sii;TestadeNevill, 
Hen. III. P- 200. 



Reynold de Mohun the second was of course a 
minor at the time of his father's death, and Dunster 
passed into the hands of the Crown for the third 
time within thirty-eight years. In June 121 3, King 
John committed to Henry Fitz-Count, bastard son 
of the Earl of Cornwall, the wardship of the heirs of 
Reynold de Mohun, with the castle of Dunster and 
various lands, saving to Alice the widow her marriage 
portion and dower at Whichford and elsewhere ^ 
In 1220, however, the ministers of Henr)^ the Third 
transferred the *' forest of Dunster, " whatever that 
may be, to Peter de Maulay, to be safely kept by 
him during pleasure. * Furthermore, on the death 
of Henry Fitz-Count in 1222, a different arrange- 
ment was made, for while William Briwere was 
given the wardship of the demesne of Carhampton, 
the knights' fees, and the person of his grandson, the 
castle and the borough of Dunster were expressly 
reserved to the Crown. ^ Other manors belonging 
to the inheritance must have been in the hands of 
a widow, Alice de Mohun or Lucy de Mohun. 
During the next few months, money was frequently 
issued to two crossbowmen named Vilers, who were 
placed in Dunster Castle by royal order. * 

Reynold de Mohun received livery of his lands in 
or before 1227, when he levied an aid on his knights 
and free tenants, on the occasion of his being made a 
knight, ^ He accompanied the King on his military 
expeditions into France in 1230 and into Wales in 
the following year. ^ He was, however, more 
remarkable in peace than in war. In 1234, at a 

* Rotuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. * Rottili Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. 
pp. 137, 242. pp. 492, 503. 508, 512, 524, 535. 

* Ibid. p. 418. * Patent Rolls, 1225-12^2, p. 107. 

* /fcu/.pp. 518,605 ; Excerpta e Rotu- ^ Ibid. pp. 311, 358; Close Rolls, 
lis Finiiim, vol. i. p. 79. 122J-123J, p. 550. 


time when he was for some reason in debt to the 
Jews, he was appointed one of the Justices of the 
Bench, that is to say of the Court of Common Pleas. ^ 
Nine years later, he was constituted Chief Justice of 
the forests south of Trent. - In i 242, he went again 
to Wales. ^ In 1252, he was appointed keeper of 
all the royal forests south of Trent, with a salary of 
a hundred marks for his maintenance, and it was 
doubtless in connexion with his new duties that he 
took a lease of Sauvey Castle in Leicestershire at a 
rent of five marks. * 

Reynold de Mohun had many residences of his 
own in addition to Dunster Castle. In 1 233, he had a 
house at Streatley, in Berkshire, which had come to 
him through his first wife. ' In i 252, he entered into 
an elaborate agreement with the Abbot and Convent 
of Torre, in Devonshire, concerning a private chapel 
which he proposed to build at his court-house there, 
for the exclusive use of himself and his family, his 
guests, and his domestic servants. The monks were 
careful to stipulate that the rite of baptism should 
not be administered therein and that half of the 
offerings made there should be handed over to them. ^ 
Under the corrupted form of ' Tormoham, ' the old 
parish of Torre still preserves the memory of the 
Mohuns who dwelt there, but no remains of their 
court-house are to be found among the modern villas 
of Torquay. In 1253, Reynold de Mohun obtained 
for himself and his heirs a grant of free warren at 
Dunster, at Whichford, in Warwickshire, and at 
Ottery, in Devon, with Ucence to hunt the hare, 

1 Close Rolls, 12 31-1234, pp. 346, ' ibid. 1 247-1258, pp. 155, 162 ; 

565, 570. Matthew of Paris, Chronica Major a, 

» 'calendar of Patent Rolls, 1232-1247, vol. v. p. 340. 
p. 279. ' Close Rolls, 1231-1234, p. 226. 

» /fc/d. p. 464. * Dugdale'sMo«flsrtcoM,volvii.p.926. 


the fox, the cat and the badger in Somerset and one 
other county. ^ 

The charters of Reynold de Mohun the second to 
the men of Dunster will be noticed in another chap- 
ter. It remains to say something about his bene- 
factions to different religious bodies. His ancestors 
had done much for the church. Irrespectively of 
minor donations, the Mohuns had established Bene- 
dictine monks at Dunster and Augustinian canons 
at Bruton, and his grandfather, William Briwere, 
had founded no less than four separate houses, a 
Premonstratensian abbey at Torre, a Cistercian abbey 
at Dunkeswell, an Augustinian priory at Mottisfont, 
and a hospital at Bridgewater. Reynold de Mohun's 
benefactions were also diverse. To the monks of 
Dunster he gave 50 marks, and, apparently, two acres 
at Caremore near the sea. ^ That he was a warm 
friend to the Augustinian canons of Bruton is clear 
from his attestation of several grants to them and 
from the part which he took in the establishment of 
the vicarage of Minehead. He also renounced in 
their favour all his rights, as patron, during intervals 
when the ofHce of prior might be vacant. ^ To 
another house of the same order at Barlinch in 
Somerset, on the borders of Devonshire, he gave land 
at Mariansleigh, and the advowson of the church.* To 
the Cistercian monks of Cleeve near Dunster he gave 
some land at Slaworthi, or Slowley, near Luxborough, 
to be held by service of an eighth part of a knight's 
fee. ^ He is, however, to be remembered chiefly as 
the founder of Newenham Abbey in Devonshire. 

' Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. i. 241, 243. 

p. 431. Part of the enrolment has * Dugda\e'sMoiiasticon,vo\.v\.p.386. 

long been illegible. D.C.M. viii. 3. = Ibid. vol. v. p. 733 ; Bruton Cartu- 

- Two Chartidaries of Bath. L." 901. lary, no. 234 ; British Museum, Add. 

* Bruton Cartulary, nos. 8, 237-239, MS. 11 161. 


The idea of establishing a new Cistercian house in 
the west of England originated with Sir William de 
Mohun, who offered to transfer some of his lands to his 
elder brother if the latter would provide a suitable 
site. Sir Reynold de Mohun entered readily into 
the scheme and gave him the choice of three manors, 
Minehead, Ottery Fleming, and Axminster. After 
an inspection of them by the Abbot of Beaulieu, 
Axminster was selected, and, in September 1245, Sir 
Reynold assigned that manor to his brother, upon 
condition that the foundation of an Abbey therein 
should be sanctioned by the King and by the Cister- 
cian Order within eighteen months. He further- 
more undertook to contribute a hundred marks a 
year to the proposed building. By the intercession 
of John Godard, one of the monks of Beaulieu, 
seconded by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the king's 
approval was obtained in July 1 246. ^ Sir Reynold 
de Mohun then issued a formal charter of foundation, 
which was in due course confirmed by royal author- 
ity. ^ At the end of December in that year, John 
Godard was elected Abbot, and twelve monks of 
Beaulieu and four lay brethren were chosen to accom- 
pany him to Devonshire. This little band arrived 
at the site of the new colony on the feast of the 
Epiphany, chanting Salve Regina, in the presence of 
the founder, his brother, and a great concourse of 
people. ^ 

In 1248, the Pope took the new settlement, the 
monastery of Newenham {c/e novo manso), under his 
protection and conferred upon it many privileges. 

' Newenham Chartulary,ff. 1 8b-24b; » Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. i. 

Davidson's History of Neweiihatn Abbey, p. 326. 

pp. 3-7, 225-227 ; Pole MS. at Queen's ^ Chartulary, as above. 
College, Oxford, f. 14. 


At subsequent dates, Sir Reynold de Mohun granted 
to the Cistercian monks the church of Luppit in 
Devonshire and sixty marks towards the purchase of 
land at Shapwick for the benefit of the soul of his 
mother Alice. He is also stated to have bequeathed 
to them by his will a sum of seven hundred marks \ 

There was a great ceremony at Newenham on the 
13th of September 1254, when the Abbot and monks 
went in solemn procession from their temporary chapel 
to the site of their future church, chanting psalms 
suitable to the occasion, followed by an antiphon. 
There Sir Reynold de Mohun laid the corner-stone 
of the superstructure and two other stones, all marked 
with the cross, while the clergy sang the Te Deum 
and Salve Regina. Stones were also laid by Sir William 
de Mohun and Sir Wymond de Raleigh. After this, 
the Abbot, with the deacon and sub-deacon, vested 
for mass, and the rest of the community knelt before 
their founder and besought him to adopt the new 
church as the place for his burial. He replied that 
this was his intention, and, by a document dated at 
Dunster in the following year, he directed that, unless 
he should die in the Holy Land, his corpse should 
be conveyed to Newenham and there honourably 
buried before the high altar. ^ 

In connexion with the establishment of Newenham 
Abbey there is the following extraordinary story : — 

" When Sir Reynold saw this done, he went to the 
court of Rome, which was then at Lyons, for confirmation 
and ratification of his new abbey, to his great honour for 
ever ; and he was at the court on the Sunday in Lent when 
they sing the office of the Mass Lastare Jerusalem^ on which 
day the custom of the court is that the Pope (lapoistoille) 

' Davidson pp. 2, 10,21-24 ; Oliver's ' Davidson pp. 33-35; Rowe's Cister- 

Monasticon Dioccesis E.xoii. p. 362. cian Houses of Devon, pp. 140, 141. 


gives to the most valiant and honourable man who can be 
found at the said court a rose or little flower of fine gold. 
They therefore searched the whole court and found this 
Reynold to be most worthy of the whole court, and to him 
Pope Innocent gave this rose or little flower of gold, and 
the Pope (papa) asked him what manner of man he was in 
his own country. He answered ' a plain knight bachelor. ' 
' Fair son ' said the Pope, * this rose or little flower has never 

* been given save to kings, or to dukes, or to earls; therefore 
' we will that you be Earl of Est, ' — that is Somerset. 
Reynold answered and said * O holy father, I have not 

* wherewithal to maintain the name.' The Pope therefore 
gave him two hundred marks a year to be received at the 
altar of St. Pauls's in London out of his (Peter's) Pence of 
England, to maintain his honour ; of which grant he brought 
back with him bulls which still have the lead, etc. together 
with ten other bulls of confirmation of his new abbey of 
Newham. After this day, he bore the rose or little flower 
in his arms. " ^ 

Reynold de Mohun the second has accordingly 
been recognised as Earl of Somerset in numerous 
peerages and pedigrees, and ingenious heralds have 
offered observations and explanations. Thus, Milles 
says that he was created Earl of Somerset " by gift 
of the Pope, who in King John's time might doe 
what hee Ust in England, " while Camden asserts that 
he " was deprived of that honour in the Barons' 
War. " ^ These writers cannot have realised that 
Reynold de Mohun did not come of age until some 
years after the death of King John, and that he 
died before the outbreak of the Barons' War. The 
subject in fact requires more careful examination 
than it has yet received. 

Camden, who was evidently acquainted with the 
narrative given above,, and Fuller, who prints it in 

' Fuller's C/j7frc/;///sforr,hookiii.§ 5. - WiWe^'?, Catalogue of Honour, ^^.2,9^; 

no. 26. Camden's Britannia, Somerset. 


the original language, concur in stating that it was 
to be found in a book or manuscript in French 
belonging to the family of Mohun. Gerard says 
more explicitly that it was derived from " an ancient 
manuscript book still remayninge with Sir Reginald 
Mohun, " and dedicated to Lady Joan Mohun by 
John Osberne, her clerk. ^ This was unquestionably 
the volume from which so many erroneous statements 
about the Mohun family have been quoted in the 
last four centuries. John Osberne, however, must 
not be regarded as the author of the story. His 
own " book or treatise, " composed in 1350, was in 
Latin of a sort, and it appears to have been merely 
a supplement to a larger work in French dedicated 
to his mistress by Walter de la Houe, Abbot of 
Newenham. The opening words of the narrative 
given above show it to be an extract. 

In considering the credibility of the story, it is 
necessary to observe in the first place that Pope 
Innocent the Fourth was at Lyons from November 
1244 to April 1 25 1, and that the papal Regesta now 
preserved at the Vatican do not contain copies of 
all bulls issued. The papal practice of giving, or 
sending, a golden rose as a mark of high approval is 
also well known. On the other hand, the flower on 
the Mohun shield was not a rose, but a fleur-de-lys, 
and it was almost certainly there before the foundation 
of Newenham Abbey. ^ If it is difficult to see the 
connexion between a rose and a fleur-de-lys, it is no 
less difficult to see the connexion between Est and 
Somerset. There is, however, no reason to suppose 
that the whole story was a deliberate fabrication. 
The far-fetched identification of Est with Somerset, 

' Description of Somerset (S. R. S.), * See Appendix, 

pp. 18,20. 


and that of the golden rose with the little flower 
on the Mohun shield may fairly be regarded as 
explanatory notes inserted by the Abbot. The Pope 
may possibly have bestowed the golden rose on Rey- 
nold de Mohun, a man of distinction in England and 
a zealous churchman, and may have created him a 
Count Palatine, with the words " Comes esto. " 

The idea that Innocent the Fourth affected to 
bestow any territorial title upon Reynold de Mohun 
must be altogether dismissed. The latter never 
claimed to be Earl of Somerset, and was never so 
described by his contemporaries. Special attention 
may be called to a charter issued by him under the 
name of ' Reynold de Moun, knight, lord of Dun- 
sterre, ' in 1255, some years after the departure of 
Innocent the Fourth from Lyons, and to the official 
registers of Newenham Abbey, in which, if anywhere, 
a higher title borne by the founder would certainly 
have been mentioned. ^ 

There is indeed one document which, if authentic, 
would point to a different conclusion, and which, 
consequently, cannot be passed over in silence. In 
the early part of the reign of Edward the Third, the 
Abbot and Convent of Newenham got into Htigation 
about some of their property, and, as a precautionary 
measure, they, in 1330, obtained royal confirmation 
of the charter of foundation by Reynold de Mohun 
and of various gifts by other benefactors. ^ This, 
however, did not prove sufficient for their purpose, 
and, in i 340, they sent up another charter purporting 
to have been issued by ' Reynold de Moun, Earl of 
Somerset and lord of Dunsterre. ' The clerks of 

' Rowe's Cistercian Houses of Devon, ^ Davidson, pp. 22g-23i ; Calendar of 

pp. 140,141 ; Oliver's MonasUcon Dice- Patent Rolls, 1327-1330, p. 508. 
cesis Exon. pp. 362,363. 


the Chancery duly affixed the great seal of England 
to a confirmation of it, on receipt of the usual fees, 
but they seem to have had some suspicion of it, for, 
in the preamble of the letters patent they described 
the grantor as ' sometime Earl, and lord of Dunsterre,' 
omitting the reference to a specific territorial earldom. 

The charter thus confirmed is obviously based to 
some extent upon the authentic charter of foundation, 
and follows it in alluding to the Abbey as not yet 
established, but the form of it is different and it 
defines the franchises of Axminster in a manner 
characteristic of the fourteenth century rather than 
the thirteenth. Among other things, it professes to 
grant exemption from the sherifFs tourn, a matter 
on which the monks had been challenged as far back 
as the reign of Edward the First, when they had 
failed to produce anything more specific than the 
authentic charter of foundation. Lastly, it should 
be observed that the names of two of the alleged 
witnesses are clearly inconsistent with the date ascribed 
to the charter. Richard le Blond, Bishop of Exeter, 
appears in it as ' W. Bishop of Exeter, ' and the 
Christian name of the Earl of Oxford is given as 
' W ' instead of Hugh. ^ 

When this document had served its purpose, it 
seems to have been prudently destroyed, and it was 
not even entered in either of the official chartularies 
of the Abbey. ^ The same may be observed with 
regard to a palpable forgery purporting to be a 
charter of Henry the Third, of which the monks of 

• Patent Roll, 14 Edw. HI. pt. i. m. transcript of 1624 in the British Mu- 

T,y,Placila de Quo Warranto, p. 165; seum. While Davidson's version agrees 

Newenham Chartulary, f. 42. fairly with the Patent Roll, Oliver 

- The royal confirmation is printed has, without a word of explanation or 

by Davidson (pp. 233-235) and by Oliver apology, improved the names of two 

(pp. 361, 362), in both cases from a of the witnesses (pp. 366, 367). 


Newenham obtained royal confirmation in 1393.^ 
Sir Reynold de Mohun died on the 20th of Janu- 
ary 1257-8. One of the Cistercians of Newenham, 
possibly the Abbot, Walter de la Houe, has left the 
following account of his last days : — 

" In the year of our Lord 1257, on the 13th Calends of 
February, Sunday the feast of Saints Fabian and Sebastian, 
Sir Reynold de Mohun, lord of Dunster and founder of 
Newenham Abbey, went the way of all flesh at Torre in 
Devonshire, and this was the manner of his end. When 
the aforesaid Sir Reynold was seized with severe illness at 
Torre, he sent and summoned a Friar Minor named Henry, 
a learned man who was at that time ruling a school of theo- 
logy at Oxford. " 

" The aforesaid Friar came to him at Torre on the 
Wednesday before the death of the aforesaid Reynold, and 
heard his confession, and, as it seemed to him, he confessed 
his sins truly, contritely, devoutly and fully. After this, 
at daybreak on the following Friday, the said Friar Henry 
came to Reynold where he lay, and Sir Reynold said to 
him : — ' I have seen a vision this night in a dream. I im- 
' agined myself to be in the Abbey Church of the White 
' Monks and, when leaving it, 1 met a venerable person clad 
' as a pilgrim, and he said : — ' Reynold, it is left to your 
' choice either to come with me now in safety, and without 
' peril, or to wait here until the week before Easter next, 
' in danger, ' I replied : — ' My Lord, I will not wait, but will 
' follow thee forthwith, ' and, indeed, 1 was fain to follow 
' him. He said : — ' Thou shalt not follow me now as thou 

* desirest, but thou shalt come to me in safety on the third 

* day. ' And he added: — ' This was the dream that 1 saw. 

" The aforesaid friar, after many words of consolation, 
returned to his bed, lay down there, and slept a while, and 
it seemed to him in his dream that he was in the aforesaid 
church of the Cistercian order, and he beheld a venerable 
man, clad in a stately white robe, leading a boy fairer than 

' Patent Roll, 17 Ric. U. part i. m. 18. Dr. Oliver prints the confirmation 
without a suspicion of the character of the charter inspected. 


the sun and in a garment brighter than the clearest crystal, 
from the font to the altar, like a child newly baptized. To 
him he said : — * Good Lord, whose is this child ? ' And the 
man answered : — ' This is the soul of the venerable ' Sir Rey- 
nold de Mohun. ' And when he woke, the aforesaid friar 
understood that his dream was a token in corroboration of 
the dream of Sir Reynold and had the like meaning. " 

" The third day having now arrived. Sir Reynold said 
to the aforesaid friar Henry : — ' Repeat to me Prime and 
Tierce, for my hour is very near at hand. ' Now it was his 
wont to hear the whole divine service daily, and the friar 
consented. The said Sir Reynold said : — ' For God's sake, 
* speak quickly, for my hour is at hand. ' This done, the 
aforesaid friar went to the church to celebrate mass. The 
introit of the mass was Circumdederiint ine^ etc. as for one 
deceased, and all things were in like form. Mass being- 
ended, the aforesaid friar returned in his sacred vestments 
carrying the Body of the Lord, in order to strengthen the 
said Sir Reynold by the receiving of the Body and Blood 
of the Lord. On his entering the chamber, the aforesaid 
Reynold wished to rise from his bed, but he could not, by 
reason of his exceeding weakness. About ten persons were 
standing around, and to them he said : — ' Alas ! Why do 
' ye not suffer me to rise to meet my Saviour and Redeem- 
' er .'' ' These were his last words. Henry then gave him the 
Communion and afterwards anointed him. Then the afore- 
said friar, with the other priests and clerks there present, be- 
gan the Commendation. After this, as Sir Reynold was still 
alive, they began to say the Commendation again, and when 
they had recited the words : — ' All ye saints, pray for him, ' 
he fell asleep in the Lord, without a groan or any apparent 
pain, with his body laid out and straightened, and his mouth 
and eyes closed, without help of anyone such as is wont to 
be given to men after they have breathed their last. " 

The corpse w^as in due course removed from Torre 
to New^enham Abbey and there buried beside the 
high altar. The writer of the foregoing narrative, 
who does not profess to be a contemporary, adds : — 


" When the pavement of the presbytery was laid, his 
body was found in his sarcophagus, whole and in no wise 
injured, and it remains to this day incorrupt, exhaling a 
most fragrant odour. This very body I have seen and 
touched, and for three days it lay open to public view in 
the year of our Lord 1333. " ^ 

Sir Reynold de Mohun married two wives, the 
first of whom was unquestionably named Hawis. 
Several of his benefactions already noticed were 
made for the benefit of her soul. As far back as 
the year 1350, John Osberne, the untrustworthy 
chronicler of the Mohun family, described her as a 
sister of William Mandeville, Earl of Essex. ^ Dugdale, 
perceiving perhaps that this nobleman was contemp- 
orary with Sir Reynold's father, makes her a sister 
of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Essex, although he 
professes to get his information from the very book 
which calls Humphrey her cousin. ^ Others have 
chosen to describe her a daughter of John Fitz 
Geoffrey. * On the other hand, two quarterly shields 
of the later Mohuns give the arms of Fleming 
immediately after those of Briwere, thus suggesting 
that a Mohun married a Fleming heiress in the 
thirteenth century. ^ Such evidence is not of much 
intrinsic value, but it acquires force when found to be 
consistent with definite facts. Sir William Pole has 
preserved copies of two deeds by which William son 
of William Fleming conveyed to Reynold de Mohun 
the manors of Ottery and Stoke, and a third deed by 
which Geoffrey de Mandeville, the overlord, ap- 

1 Newenham Chartulary, ff. 26 b, 27. Mohun Chronicle. 

There are independent translations in ^ Baronage of England, vol. i. p. 497. 

Davidson's Newenham Abbey (pp. 211- ■• Harl. MS. 807, f. 73; The Visitation 

214) and Oliver's Ecclesiastical Antiqui- of Cornwall, 1620. 

ties in Devon (vol. i. pp. 206-208). * The Visitation of Devon, 1620 ; 

* St. George's extracts from the Monument in Lanteglos Church. 


proved William Fleming's grants to Reynold de 
Mohun of the manors of Stoke, Ottery, Olditch and 
Pinford. ^ Although the original conveyances are not 
extant, it further appears that the manors of Luppit 
and Farway, also in Devonshire, passed from the 
Flemings to the Mohuns. ^ In support of his own 
story, John Osberne states that William de Mande- 
ville. Earl of Essex, granted the manors of Streatley, 
in Berkshire, to Reynold de Mohun, to be held by 
him by service of a quarter of a fee. ^ If Reynold 
married before the Earl's death in 1227, this is 
likely enough. He certainly had a house at Streatley 
in 1233, and there is no reason to suppose that he 
bought this property in a distant county. * The nature 
of the transaction becomes clearer when we find that 
the Earls of Essex were merely the overlords of 
Streatley, and that William Fleming held three 
quarters of a fee there in the middle of the thirteenth 
century. " Lastly, attention may be drawn to the 
fact that, in 1283, one of the buildings at Dunster 
Castle was known as the ' Fleming Tower, ' doubtless 
that which was afterwards called ' Dame Hawis's 
Tower.' ^ In defiance therefore of the older genealog- 
ists, we may fairly hold that Sir Reynold de Mohun 
married firstly Hawis daughter and heiress of 
William Fleming. By her he had at least four 
children : — 

John, who predeceased him. Little is known about 
him except that he died in Gascony between 1252 
and I 254. His body was brought back to England 
and buried at Bruton Priory, while his heart was 

' MS. at Queen's College, Oxford, Mohun Chronicle, 
ff. 13, iS"*, 21. ■• Close Rolls, 12^^1-1234, P- 226. 

^ Testa de Ncvill, p. 178 ; Feudal ^ Feudal Aids, vol. i. p. 65 ; Testa de 

Aids, vol i. p. 330. Nerill, pp. ill, 125. 

^ St. George's extracts from the " See Chapter xi. 


buried at Newenham Abbey before the high 
altar. ^ In 1254, Reynold de Mohun entered into 
an elaborate agreement with the Prior and Convent 
of Bath as to certain masses that were to be said 
for the benefit of the soul of his eldest son John, 
then deceased, of his own soul and of the souls of 
his wives, his ancestors and his successors. The 
monks thereby undertook that mass should be 
celebrated daily to the end of time by one of their 
own number attached to the Priory of Dunster, or 
by a respectable secular chaplain, " in the upper 
chapel " of Dunster Castle dedicated to St. Stephen, 
unless prevented by war, by ecclesiastical interdict, 
or by order of the castellan, in any of which 
events it was to be celebrated in the chapel of 
St. Lawrence belonging to the Priory below 
{inferius). To ensure due performance of this, 
they gave Reynold de Mohun right of distraint 
upon their land at Alcombe. He on his side 
granted to them fifty marks for the purchase of 
rents and undertook that the necessary books, 
vestments, lights and ornaments should be provided 
by himself and his heirs, owners of the Castle. 
Although the Prior's deed is dated at Ottery, 
in Devonshire, the witnesses came from the neigh- 
bourhood of Dunster. ^ 

John de Mohun had married Joan daughter of 
William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, a younger 
sister of his stepmother, and by her he left issue: — 

John, his heir. 

Robert. ' 

» 0]x\&v'^ Monasticon DioccesisExon. vol. i. Y>^.202,2\i;Calendar of Patent 

pp. 362. 363. Rolls, 12^2-1281, p. 189. An elder 

- b C M XVI I. A copy on paper, brother Reynold is also mentioned, 

endorsed " For the Castell Masse. " perhaps in error. Curia Regis Roll, no. 

* Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, i6o, m. 34". 


John de Mohun seems to have been a tenant in 
chief in right of his wife. After his death, the 
King granted her marriage to Peter de Chauvent. 
The widow, however, chose to marry Robert 
Aguylon and he had to pay a forfeit of 200 marks 
to the grantee. ^ 

AUce, married, while a mere child, to William de 
Clinton, the younger, who settled on her land to 
the considerable value of 40/. a year. ^ She after- 
wards married Robert de Beauchamp the younger 
of Hatch, in Somerset. To them her father. Sir 
Reynold, conveyed an estate known as ' the Soke 
of Mohun, ' with appurtenances, liberties and ad- 
vowsons in the City of London and without, between 
Fleet Bridge and Charing Cross. ^ This they, ere 
long, alienated to the Abbot and Convent of West- 
minster. * 

Juliana, married to William de Lisle. To them her 
father gave an estate at Walton in Northamptonshire 
which was part of the Briwere inheritance. ^ 

Lucy, married to John de Grey of Codnor. ^ 

Sir Reynold de Mohun's second wife was Isabel 
relict of Sir Gilbert Basset, and daughter of William 
de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, With her he received in 
frank marriage ten hides of land at Mildenhall, in 
Wiltshire, and afterwards a share of the great inher- 
itance of her maternal uncles the Marshals, successive 
Earls of Pembroke. She died in 1 260. ^ By her he 
had issue : — 

' Calendar of Patent RoUs,i 24^-1 2 ^8, " St. George's extracts from the 

p. 495; Curia Regis Rolls, no. i8i, tn. 11; Mohun Chronicle, 

no. 160. m. 34''. ' Testa dc Ncvill, p. 153 ; Close 

- Close Rolls, 1234-123^, p. 505. Rolls, 36 Hen. HI. mm. 22, 17, i"* ; 37 

* Beauchamp Chartulary, f. loi. Hen. HI. mm. 19, 11 ; 39 Hen. HI. 

* Feet of Fines, Divers Counties, 36 m. 24'' ; Patent Roll, 37 Hen. HI. m. 18 ; 
Hen. HI. Inq. postmortem, C.Hen.HI. file 25(13). 

* Ibid. 40 Hen. HI. 


Sir William, who was born in 1254. He was con- 
sequently a mere boy at the time of his mother's 
death. ^ In 1262, the King sold his wardship and 
marriage to William la Zouche for 200 marks. ^ 
Through his mother, he inherited the manors of 
Mildenhall, in Wiltshire, and Greywell, in Hamp- 
shire, lands at Sturminster Marshal, in Dorset, and 
Magor near Monmouth, and a larger estate in 
Kildare and Kilkenny. He also obtained from his 
half-nephew, John de Mohun of Dunster, the 
manors of Galmton, Stoke Fleming and Ottery 
called afterwards Ottery Mohun, and other property 
in Devonshire, all, however, subject to the over- 
lordship of the head of the family. ^ In 1 277, he 
was summoned to perform military service in per- 
son against Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. * Three 
years later, he went on pilgrimage to Santiago in 
Spain. ' He ought to have attended a muster at 
Rhuddlan at the beginning of August 1282, but 
he died on the 17th of that month at his home at 
Ottery. ^ He was buried near his father in the 
choir of Newenham Abbey. ^ 
By Beatrice, his wife. Sir William de Mohun had 
issue four children : — 

Reynold, who died under age in 1284. 
Eleanor, who was born at Stoke Fleming, in 
August 1 28 I, and married John de Carew. ^ 

> Inquisition, as above ; Calendar of overlooked, removes all difinculty. 

Close Rolls, 1272-1279, pp. 287, 296. * Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, 

* Excerpta e Rotulis Finium, vol. ii. vol. i. p. 194. 

p. 365. » Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1272-1281 

» Feudal Aids, vol. i. pp. 317, 3I9. PP- 36i, 364- 

329, 331. Sir William de Mohuns « Inq. post mortem, C. Edw. I. file 

possession of lands formerly belonging 30 (8) ; file 39 (6) ; Money's History of 

to his stepmother's family was a cause Ncivbury, p. 122. 

of error to me in 1880, and afterwards ' Oliver's Monasticon DioecesisExon. 

to Mr. Hunt (Dictionary of National p. 363. 

Biographv, vol. xxxviii, p. mi. The ** Inq. post mortem. C. Edw. I. file 25, 

condition of his tenure, which 1 had nos. 43, 123. 


Margaret, who died under age. 

Mary, who was born posthumously at Mildenhall, 
in December 1282, and married Sir John of 
Meriet before she was fourteen years of age. ^ 

The wardship of the heir, and afterwards of the 
co-heirs, was given to Eleanor, the King's mother. ^ 
In 1288, Beatrice de Mohun paid 100/. for royal 
licence to marry a second husband. She was a 
desirable widow, as she had a considerable dower. ^ 

James, a clerk. While a student at Oxford in 1267, 
he received a royal grant of two oaks from Shot- 
over for his fuel. * In due course he proceeded to 
the degree of Master. He was only in subdea- 
con's orders when instituted to the rectory of 
Walkhampton in Devonshire, in 1 276. ^ The par- 
sonage of Brompton which he afterwards obtained 
cannot be located with any certainty. ^ He had 
a small estate of his own at Horswell and South 
Milton, in Devonshire. ' He was living in Decem- 
ber 1322.^ By a will proved early in the follow- 
ing year, he bequeathed a messuage near Newgate 
to the Prior and Convent of St. Bartholomew's, 
Smithfield, in order that they should provide two 
chaplains to say mass daily for his soul, one in their 
own church and the other in the church of 
St. Sepulchre. ^ 

Isabel, who is said to have married Edmund Deyn- 
court. ^^ 

* Ibid. 29 Edw. I. no. 6; C. Edw. HI. pp. Ii8, 213. 

Ale 2 [S) ; Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 2g6- ^ Feudal Aids, vol. i. pp. 324, 351, 

1302, pp. 134, 148. 396. 

* Calendar o/Palciii Rolls, 1 2Si-i2g2, " Calendar of Patent Rolls, i$2i- 
pp. 52, 128, 468. ^324, p. 230 ; Feet of Fines, Divers 

* Ihid. p. 298; Calendar of Close Counties, 11 Edw. II. 

Rolls, i2yQ-i2SS, p. 198. ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1321- 

* Close Roll, 52 Hen. III. m. 12. 1324, p. 283. 

•'' Bronscombe's Register, 1". 76. '" St. George's extracts from the 

* Calendar of Patent Rolls, I2g2-i 301, Mohun Chronicle. 


John de Mohun, son of John, son of Reynold, 
was a minor at the time of his grandfather's death, 
and as soon as the news of it reached Windsor, the 
King granted his wardship and marriage and the 
charge of his estates to Queen Eleanor. ^ On the 
ist of August 1265, Sir William of Berkeley landed 
at Minehead with a number of Welshmen, intending 
to ravage the county of Somerset. Adam Gurdon, 
who was then warden of Dunster Castle, at once 
sallied out to meet them and put them to flight. 
Those who escaped the sword were drowned." Gurdon 
is known to have been an adherent of the insurgent 
barons, and to have collected a number of their 
partisans at Dunster. ^ He was, however, ejected 
soon after the battle of Evesham, and Alan Plugenet 
was placed in command of the fortress in his stead. * 
The wardship of the Mohun lands was afterwards 
transferred from the Queen to Richard, King of 

On attaining his majority, John de Mohun did 
homage to Henry the Third, and he obtained Hvery of 
his inheritance in October 1269. ' He was summon- 
ed in 1 277 to do military service against Llewellyn, 
Prince of Wales, and he went accompanied by his 
brother Robert de Mohun and Thomas du Pyn. ^ He 
was Httle more than thirty years of age at the time 
of his death in 1279. The inquisitions then taken 
give valuable information about the knights' fees 
belonging to the Honour of Dunster, and show that 
he held in his own hands the manors of Dunster, 

1 Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1 247-1 2 =^8, ^ Miscellaneous Inquisitions, 

pp. 614, 616 ; Close Rolls 42 Hen. Ill, * Patent Roll, 49 Hen. 111. m. 10. 

ni. 10 ; 49 Hen. III. m. 6 ; Assize Roll. ^ Close Roll, 53 Hen. III. m. i 

no 1203 m 4 ^ Palgrave's Parliameittary Writs, 

•' Willelmi Rishanger Chronica (R.S.), vol. i. pp. 195, 202, 210, 211 ; Calendar 

p. 41. of Patent Rolls, 1272-128 1, p. 189. 


Carhampton, Cutcombe, Minehead, Kilton and He 
Brewer in Somerset, Whichford in Warwickshire, 
Bradworthy, Torre Mohun, Cadleigh and Ugborough 
in Devonshire, and Luton in Bedfordshire. ^ They 
do not make any mention of the manor of Streatley, 
which had been let to Maud, Countess of Hereford, 
for her Hfe. " 

By Eleanor Fitzpiers, his wife, Sir John de Mohun 
left an only son, John. The widow Eleanor married 
Sir William Martin. ' 

John de Mohun the third was of course a minor 
at the time of his father's death. The right of 
tendering a suitable lady to him in marriage at the 
proper time was granted by the Crown to Robert 
Tibetot in July 1279. "* His lands meanwhile proved 
useful for the satisfaction of different annuities that had 
been promised by the King. The manor and castle 
of Dunster were thus committed, in May 1280, to 
Francesco d'Accorso, the learned civilian whom 
Edward the First had brought from Bologna to assist 
him in the administration of public affairs. ' The 
manors of Whichford and He Brewer were similarly 
committed to Amaury de St. Amand. ' In June 1 28 i , 
John de Vescy, a first cousin of the late John de 
Mohun, obtained a definite grant of Dunster Castle 
and other lands until the heir should come of age. ' 
The Abbot of Cleeve and the Prior of Dunster were 
made responsible to him for the arms and armour, 
necessary for the defence of the Castle, that had 

1 Inq.postmortem,C.Ed\v.I.file22(i); * Calendar of Patent Rolls 12^2-1281, 

file 43 (6). p. 318- 

- Feet of Fines, Berks, i Edw. I. * /fe/'rf. p. 374; Maxwell Lyte's H/s/or)- 

* Inquisitions, as above ; F<;»rf<7/^/(/5, of the University of Oxford, pp. 88, 89. 

vol. i. pp. 318, 349, 352, 380; vol. iv. ^ Calendaro/Putent Rolls, 12^2-1281, 

pp. 302, 334 ; Calendar of Close Rolls, p. 444. 

i272-i27g, pp. 539, 540 ; Calendar of ' Ibid. 1281-121)2, p. 8 ; Calendar of 

Charter Rolls, vol. ii. p. 264. Close Rolls, i27g-i28S, p. 149. 


been temporarily placed in their respective houses. ^ 
The young heir himself continued in the wardship 
of the King under the charge of a tutor named John 
Launcelewe, and the accounts of the royal wardrobe 
record payments for his saddles, bridles, leggings and 
spurs. ^ He obtained livery of his lands in 1290, 
from which it may be inferred that he was born 
in 1269. ^ 

In the course of a fairly long life, John de Mohun 
did something towards consolidating his scattered 
estates. Thus, in 1299, he made over to the King 
all his share of the Marshal inheritance in Kildare, 
in exchange for the manor of Long Compton, in 
Warwickshire, adjoining his own manor of Which- 
ford. * There is also reason to believe that he 
exchanged the manor of He Brewer in Somerset, 
some twenty-four miles from Dunster, for that of 
Goring, in Oxfordshire, separated only by the Thames 
from his own manor of Streatley. ' 

It would be tedious to enumerate the different 
expeditions in which Sir John de Mohun did military 
service against the French in Gascony and Flanders, 
against the Welsh, and, more frequently, against the 
Scots, but it may be noted that on one occasion he 
is described as a banneret. In February 1299, he 
received his first writ of summons to Parliament. ** 
According to modern ideas, he thus became a heredi- 
tary peer, and he is therefore called Lord Mohun 
in numerous books and pedigrees. No such titles 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, I28i-i2g2, Rolls of Ireland, 12Q5-IS03, pp. 369-371. 
p. 24. ' Feudal Aids, vol. iv. pp. 154, 170, 

* Miscellanea, Chancery, bundle 4. 176, 291, 314. 

^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, I28i-i2g2, * Calendar of Close Rolls, 1296-1302, 

p. 356. pp. 7, 22, 98, 346 ; Palgrave's Parlia- 

* Originalia Roll, 8 Edw. I. m. 14 ; mentary Writs, vol. i. p. 740; vol. ii. 
Calendar of Close Rolls, 1296-1302, pp. 1176-1178 ; Calendar of Patent 
p. 324 ; Calendar of Charter Rolls, Rolls, 1301-1302, p. 231. 

vol. ii. p. 480 ; Calendar of the Justiciary 


were, however, known in his day. In the famous 
letter of the EngUsh barons to the Pope, he is simply 
styled 'John de Mohun, lord of Dunsterre. ' By 
virtue of his tenure he was indeed, like his ancestors, 
one of the Greater Barons of the realm, but a writ 
of summons did not at that period confer any title 
upon the recipient. He was never styled ' Lord de 
Mohun ' in his lifetime, and Sir Hugh Luttrell, who 
sat in the House of Commons in the reign of Henry 
the Fourth, was just as truly ' lord of Dunster ' as 
any of the Mohuns, and was often so styled. 

When Edward the Second was about to be 
crowned, thirty-two ecclesiastics, and a hundred and 
eight of the principal nobles and officers of state 
were summoned to attend the ceremony, and John de 
Mohun was of course included in the number. He, 
or his namesake, John Mohun of Ham, was implicated 
in the proceedings of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, 
but he seems to have adhered to the King when the 
Earl rose in open rebellion some years later. Writs 
of summons to successive Parliaments and Councils 
continued to be issued to him until July 1330^ 
Attendance in Parliament was then more of a burden 
than of an honour, and the recipients of such writs 
were sometimes allowed to send proxies. * Thus it 
was that, in 1329, when John de Mohun was aged 
and infirm, he obtained specific licence to send his 
son Robert — who was not his heir — to do military 
service in his stead and to occupy his seat in Parlia- 
ment. ^ 

John de Mohun the third was married twice. 
His first wife was Ada Tibetot, presumably a daughter 

' Palgrave, as above. vol. iv. pp. 408, 462. 

- Palj^rave, vol. ii. p. 267 ; Report on ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1327-1 330, 

the Dignity of a Peer, vol. iii. p. 166 ; p. 383. 


of Robert Tibetot to whom his marriage had been 
granted. By her he had issue seven or eight sons 
and one daughter ^ : — 

Sir John de Mohun the fourth. He married in May 
1305, Christian, daughter of Sir John Segrave, 
who had a fortune of 400/. In consideration of 
this sum, his father undertook to maintain them 
and to give her a dower of 100 marks a year in 
the event of his surviving her husband, who would 
otherwise succeed to property valued at 600/. a 
year. " It is clear that the young couple were 
under age at the time. Little is known about 
John de Mohun the fourth except that he fought 
at the battle of Boroughbridge in 1322, and died 
in Scotland during the lifetime of his father. ^ A 
statement that he was buried in the church of the 
Grey Friars at York rests upon very questionable 
authority. * 
He left issue : — 

John de Mohun the fifth. 

Margaret, who married John de Carew. 

Elizabeth, who died without issue. ^ 

Sir Robert, already mentioned. He married Eliza- 
beth, daughter and heir of Simon de Roges of 
Porlock. The marriage does not seem to have 
turned out happily, for, after his murder about the 
end of I 3 3 I , his relict and her mother were ahke 
suspected of being privy to the crime. Very Httle 
is known about the circumstances beyond the fact 
that a neighbour, John of Luccombe, was the 

' Archcsological Journal, vol. xxxvii, vol. ii. part 2, p. 198. 

p. 89. ^ The Visitation of Devon, 1620. 

2 Patent Roll, 33 Edw. I. part i. m. 9. '- Archceological journal, as above. 
^ Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, 


chief person implicated. The widow soon married 
another husband, Sir Robert of Stockhey. ^ The 
date of her death is not recorded, but she must 
have been succeeded by a son, for, in 1353, there 
is mention of John de Mohun of Porlock, knight, 
who is elsewhere described as son of Sir Robert 
de Mohun. ' The Mohuns of Fleet, in Dorset, 
claimed descent from him. ^ 
Baldwin, a clerk. He received the first tonsure from 
the Bishop of Bath and Wells in 131 5, but he did 
not obtain any preferment in the west of England, 
and there are some grounds for supposing that he 
married a lady of the Clavering family. * In i 342, 
he served on several judicial commissions in War- 
wickshire, apparently in the capacity of a local 
magnate. ' In that very year, however, he again 
turned his thoughts to the church, and powerful 
patrons, the Earl of Lancaster and Queen Isabella, 
recommended him to the Pope for a canonry \ 
Although described in 1342 as holding the church 
of Whichford, which was in the gift of his nephew, 
Sir John de Mohun, he was not actually instituted 
thereto until 1344. A parson appointed in the 
previous year may have been put in for a time, 
while he was qualifying by proceeding to priest's 
orders. ^ At some later date, he held the living of 
Fordingbridge. ^ In 1348, he was presented by 
the King to the prebend of Warminster in the 

• Chadwyck Hez\ey's History of part ioo;Dngd:i\e's Antiquities of Warwick- 

of West Somerset, PY^. 2 ^^-2^2. s/n/r, (ed. 1765) p. 418. 

- Calendar of Ctosc Rolls, 134Q-13S4, * Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1340- 

p. 619 ; GasconKoll, 24 Edw. III. m. 2.: 1343, pp. 448, 559, 590. 

Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1343-JJ4S, " Calendar of Petitions to the Pope, 

p. 133. Mr. Chadwyck Healey did not vol. i, pp. 7, 26. 

know of the entry on the Close Roll. ^ Dugdale, as above. 

^ See Appendix. * Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1 350-1 334, 

•• Drokensford's Register (S.R.S.) pp.69, p. 43. 


cathedral church of Salisbury, but he died in the 
course of the next two years. ^ 

Payn, first mentioned in 1323, when he received 
episcopal licence to choose his own confessor. ^ In 
the following year, he again had recourse to the 
bishop in order to compel his father to deliver 
50 marks and a cope adorned with gold and relics 
which his mother Ada had bequeathed to him and 
three of her other younger children. ^ After the 
murder of his brother. Sir Robert, already men- 
tioned, Payn de Mohun was very active in trying 
to bring the guilty persons to justice. ^ From his 
father he received the manor of Cutcombe, but 
the gift was limited to the term of his life. " In 
1344 and 1345, he went abroad with various 
knights and others in the retinue of Henry of 
Lancaster, Earl of Derby. ^ 

Sir Reynold, ancestor of the Mohuns of Cornwall. ^ 

Patrick, who received from his father the manor of 
Bradworthy, in Devon, but only for the term of 
his life. ^ He seems to have acted as receiver for 
the relict of his nephew, the last Lady de Mohun of 
Dunster, and she allowed him to live at Marsh- 
wood. An arrangement to this effect was ratified, 
in 1398, by her daughter, Lady Fitzwalter, who 
claimed the reversion, which she never obtained \ 

Hervey, who seems to have made himself useful to 
several persons of importance. Lady Blanche Wake 
obtained for him an annuity of i o marks from the 

• Ibid. 134S-13SO, pp. Ill, 201 ; Rolls, 134S-1350, p. 58 ; Lay Subsidies. 

Calendar of Petitions to the Pope, vol. i. 169/5. 

p. 205. "^ Kymer's FcErffc-ra, vol. iii. pp. II, 40. 

» Drokenford:s Register (S.R.S.)^.2it. ' See Appendix. 

3 Ibid. p. 231. * Feet of Fines, as above. 

< Chadwyck ilealey, as above. * D.C.M. ix. 3 ;xvii. t; xxxi. 2 ; Inq. 

'" Feet of Fines, divers counties, 22 post mortem, 6 Hen. IV. no. 33. 
Edw. ni (no. 422) \Calendar of Patent 


Crown. ^ Henry, Earl of Lancaster, her brother, 
gave him an annuity of i o/. and Sir John de Mohun, 
his own nephew, appointed him baiUfF of the Hun- 
dred of Carhampton. ^ He died in 1349, the year 
of the Black Death. ^ 

Laurence, who is stated to have been the ancestor of 
the Mohuns of Tavistoclc. Nothing, however, is 
really known about him. * 

Eleanor, who married Sir Ralph of Wellington, ap- 
parently in 1324. ■' 

Ada, the first wife of John de Mohun the third, 
died in or before 1324. His second wife was Sibyl 
relict of Sir Henry de Lorty. ^ In February 1325, 
a priest named Robert of Plympton was appointed 
confessor to Sir John de Mohun and Sibyl his wife \ 
In June 1330, Sir John entered into a recognisance 
to Bartholomew of Burghersh in the then colossal 
sum of 10,000/. the intention of which is not stated, 
although probably connected with a matrimonial 
project.** He died a few weeks later, on the 25th 
of August. ^ He had been more interested in the 
Benedictines of Dunster than in the Augustinians of 
Bruton or the Cistercians of Newenham, and he was 
buried in their church, probably on the north side of 
the chancel. ^^ The effigy of a widow in a richly 
ornamented recess on the south side of the chancel 

1 Calendar of Close Rolls, 134.6-1^49, '^ Proceedings of Somerset Archceolo- 

pp. 27, 105, 203, 459, 562, 610. gical Society, vol. xlii. p. 46; Bishop 

- Calendar of Patent Rolls,i 348-1350, Ralph's Register (S.R.S), pp. 49, 161, 189, 

p. 370- 255. 

^ /fe/rf. p. 412. ' Drokensford'sRegtster{S.R.S.),p.240. 

* As the Newenham Register states * Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 330-1 333, 
that John de Mohun the third had seven p. 143. 

sons and then proceeds to enumerate ^ CartulariesofMtichelney and Athel- 

eight, the ' et' before the name of Lau- ney (S.R.S.), p. 27; Inq. post mortem, 

rence should perhaps he a ' vel. ' C. Edvv. HI. file 22. 

* Calendar of Close Rolls, 1323-1 32J, '" T^vo Chartularics of Bath{S.K.9,.), 
p. 192 ; 1330-1333, P- 144 ; Calendar of L. p. 182. 

Patent Rolls, 1 348-1 350, p. 200. 


dates from his time, and may fairly be taken to repre- 
sent his mother, Christian. 

It is repeatedly laid down in books on law " that 
the widow of a baron shall not have dower out of 
the caput baronice of her late husband. " ^ Nevertheless 
the dower assigned by the Crown to Sibyl, Ladv de 
Mohun, in 1330, comprised the castle and the manor 
of Dunster, the former of which was the caput of an 
ancient barony. To these was afterwards added a 
third of the knights' fees pertaining thereto. ^ She 
had, however, considerable difficulty in establishing 
her rights. ^ In 1335, it was reported to the King 
at Alnwick that she was dead, and no time was lost 
in disposing of the lands which she held in dower, 
but the report proved false, and she was certainly 
living in 1337. * There is nothing more to be said 
about her except that she kept a domestic chaplain, 
presumably at Dunster. ^ 

John de Mohun the fifth, was about ten years 
old at the death of his grandfather in 1330.^ No 
lord of Dunster had left an heir of full age since the 
reign of Henry the Second, and the Crown had got 
the benefit of six wardships there in the course of a 
hundred and fifty-four years. Henry of Burghersh, 
Bishop of Lincoln and Chancellor of England, a 
worldly and avaricious prelate, obtained the marriage 
of the young heir of Dunster and the custody of his 
lands during minority, within six days of the death 
of John de Mohun the third. ^ 

1 Madox's Baronia Anglica, pp. lo, * Ibid. pp. 178, 505. 

42; Cvmse'sDigiiitiesorTitlesof Honour '"Bishop Ralph's Register (S.R.S.), 

etc. ' pp. 172, 308. 

* Calendar of Close Rolls, 1330-1333, " mortem, C.Edvv. HI. file 

pp. 96, 481. 22. 

^ RotnliParliaina!toritm,vo].n. p. 71; ' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1327- 

Caleiidar of Patent Rolls, 1334-1338, 1330, P- 55^ ; Calendar of Close Rolls, 

p. 127. 1330-1333, P- 96. 


After a few weeks, however, he fell into disgrace 
at Court, and, in January 1331, the custody of 
two thirds of the Mohun inheritance was transferred 
to William of Ayreminne, Bishop of Norwich, who is 
described as " crafty, covetous and treasonable. 
Four years later, we find this prelate claiming com- 
pensation from the Crown for the dower assigned to 
Lady de Mohun, the widow, at Minehead. " In 
1334, he is mentioned as holding some of the lands, 
the remainder and the person of the young heir 
being in the hands of Sir Bartholomew of Burghersh, 
a half-brother of the Bishop of Lincoln. ^ It was at 
the special request of Sir Bartholomew that John de 
Mohun obtained livery of his lands in England 
in 1 341, without proving that he was of full 
age. * By this date, he had doubtless done what 
was required of him by marrying the daughter 
of his guardian, Joan of Burghersh, a lady who 
plays a very important part in the history of Dunster. 

Sir John de Mohun the fifth did military service 
against the Scots in 1341.'^ In the following year 
and again in 1345, he went abroad with his father- 
in-law, who was a distinguished commander in the 
wars of Edward the Third. ' At the battle of Crecy, 
he was in the division of Edward, Prince of Wales, 
which comprised " all the flower of the chivalry of 
England. " ' He also took part in at least five 
subsequent campaigns, accompanying the Prince of 
Wales in 1359 and the Duke of Lancaster in 1373.*' 

1 Calendar of- Patent Rolls, 1334- ^ Scotch Roll, 15 Edw. III. m. 2. 

^33^ P- 122 ; Calendar of Close Rolls, '^ French Rolls, 16 Edw. HI. m. 26 ; 

1330-1333, P- 4.36. 19 Edw. III. m. 7. 

" Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1 334-1 338, ' Wrottesley's Crecy and Calais, 

p. 127. pp, 6, 29, 31, 79,82, 86, 99, III, 120, 275. 

' Calendar of Close Rolls, 1333- ** Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i. p. 498; 

^557i PP' I93i 218. Rymei's Fcedera, vol. iii. p. 443. 

* Ibid. 1341-1343, p. 166. 


One of his horses named ' Grisel Oris ' was a present 
to him from the former of these great warriors. ^ 
As a baron, Sir John de Mohun was summoned to a 
council in 1 342, and he received writs to attend 
different parHaments between 1348 and 1374.^ If 
he had Hved in the following century, he would have 
been formally described as ' Lord de Mohun ', and he 
was sometimes so styled in his own lifetime. ^ On 
the establishment of the Order of the Garter in the 
year 1348, he was nominated one of the original 
twenty-five knights. * 

Sir John de Mohun seems to have shone more in 
war than in peace. In i 344, he was indicted with 
his uncles, Payn and Patrick de Mohun, and many 
others for various felonies in the county of Somerset. ^ 
Six years later, he got into serious trouble by attempt- 
ing to interfere with the administration of justice. 
John Durborough, one of the military tenants of the 
Honour of Dunster, brought a suit against him to 
recover some land, and when the King's judges were 
sitting at Somerton to hear this and other cases, Sir 
John attacked his adversary in the middle of the 
town, pursued him as far as the churchyard and, 
overtaking him there, carried him off on horseback 
to Langport. Such violence could not be tolerated 
even in a great baron, and, by order of the judges, 
the sheriff raised the hue and cry against him and 
rescued his captive. Sir John himself was commit- 
ted to prison. The assize roll does not contain any 
record of the proceedings, but the story is told in the 
letters patent by which he obtained the royal pardon, 

1 Beltz's Order of the Garter, p. 383. " Anstis's Register of the Order of the 

* Report on the' Dignity of a Peer, Garter, vol. i. p. 49 ; vol. ii. p. 6. 

vol. iv. pp. 539-661. * Assize Roll, no. 771 ; Calendar of 

* D.C.M. IX. 2. Close Rolls, 1 343-1 346, p. 361. 


on the intercession of some of his peers. He did 
not get off without making an ample apology, express- 
ing his willingness to incur forfeiture of life and 
limbs as well as of lands and goods, without hope of 
mercy, if he should commit any similar offence in 
the future. ^ 

Associating with the greatest persons in the realm, 
Sir John de Mohun seems from the very beginning 
to have lived beyond his means. A brief will execut- 
ed by him as early as September 1342, suggests that 
he was already in difficulties. After leaving his 
body to the regular canons of Bruton, he thereby 
bequeathed all his moveable goods to his wife and Sir 
Ivo de Glynton, a priest, in order that they should 
pay his creditors in the city of London and afterwards 
his other creditors, and do whatever they thought fit 
for the benefit of his soul. ^ Later on, we find him 
borrowing money from Sir James Audley and others. "* 

In order to understand the history of Dunster and 
the manors that went with it in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, it becomes necessary to trace in some detail the 
manner in which Sir John de Mohun the fifth dealt 
with his ample inheritance. There is no record of 
any settlement made at the time of his marriage, and 
when he obtained livery of his lands, there were not 
apparently any charges upon them except the life 
interests of some of his uncles. Within the first few 
years, however, he sold Cadleigh. * 

On the 23rd of June 1346, royal licence was 
granted for Sir John de Mohun to enfeoff William 
of Fordham, clerk, and Maud of Bourton of the 
castle and manor of Dunster with all knights' fees 

' Calendar of Patctif Rolls, i ^48-1^1^0, ^ Pole Queen's College Oxford, 

p. 500. ff. 178, 179" ; Close Rolls, passim. 

* D.C.M. XXXVII. 4. * Feudal Aids, vol. i. p. 424. 


and advowsons pertaining thereto, and the manors of 
Carhampton, Minehead and Kilton, and for them to 
re-convey to him and Joan his wife and the heirs of 
their bodies, with remainder to his heirs general. ^ By 
a deed purporting to be executed on the very same day 
at Titchfield and witnessed by Sir John Durborough, 
Sir Ralph Fitzurse, Sir Alexander Luttrell, John 
Osberne, constable of Dunster, John of Bratton and 
others, he formally conveyed the premises as above, 
and he also appointed attorneys to deliver seisin. A 
conjecture may be hazarded that William of Ford- 
ham was the domestic chaplain at the Castle, and that 
Maud of Bourton was a personal attendant of Lady 
de Mohun. However this may be, they were mere 
instruments. On the i 2th of July, they duly exe- 
cuted a re-conveyance in the terms of the royal licence, 
witnessed at Dunster by Sir John Durborough, Sir 
Simon Furneaux, Sir Ralph Fitzurse, John Osberne 
the constable, John of Bratton, John le Bret and John 
Wosham. By this time Sir John de Mohun was 
probably abroad, and there is no record of livery of 
seisin to him. "^ It is more material to observe that 
the transaction was carried further by a fine levied in 
Michaelmas term, by which the premises were settled 
on Sir John de Mohun and Joan his wife and the 
heirs male of their bodies, with remainder to his 
heirs general. ^ Whether the limitation to heirs 
male was intended all along, or introduced as an after- 
thought, it is impossible to say, but it had very 
important consequences. It does not occur in an 
otherwise similar settlement of the manor of Goring 
made about the same time. * 

1 Calendar ofPatnitRolh, I s^'^-x-.^S. » Feet of Fines. Somerset, 20 Edw. 

p. 126. HI. (Gieen, ii. 234.) 

- D.C.M. I. 13. ^ Inq. post mortem, 6 33. 


In March 1348, royal licence was obtained for Sir 
John de Mohun to convey the reversion of the 
manors of Cutcombe, Greywell and Sturminster 
Marshal and certain lands at Carhampton and Kilton 
to William Hothorp and Richard Cok, and for them 
to re-convey to him and Joan his wife and the heirs 
of their bodies, with remainder to his heirs general. ^ 
A fine was accordingly levied of the premises, as 
also of the reversion of the manors of Ugborough, 
Bradworthy, Torre Mohun and Streatley, for which no 
licence was needed, as they were not held in chief. ' 

The first effect of the three fines mentioned above 
was to give Lady de Mohun a life interest in almost 
all the manors belonging to her husband in England. 
Nevertheless he eventually managed to sell that of 
Ugborough to Sir Neal Loring, who also bought his 
property at Luton, in Bedfordshire. ^ 

The next transaction appears to have been of the 
nature of a mortgage. In 1350, Sir John de Mohun 
and Joan his wife demised the castle of Dunster, with 
its fees and advowsons, and Carhampton, Rodhuish 
and Marshwood, to Sir Batholomew of Burghersh the 
elder. Sir Bartholomew of Burghersh the younger 
— her father and brother — Sir Peter de Veel, Sir Roger 
la Ward, and Matthew of Clevedon, esquire, at the 
nominal rent of a red rose for four years, and the exces- 
sive rent of 400/ afterwards. "* They recovered pos- 
session at the end of August 1355, and on the 3rd of 
September,Sir John handed over to his wife forty-three 
title deeds relating to the manors of Dunster, Mine- 
head, Torre Mohun, Bradworthy and Ugborough. ^ 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, I J48-1 350, Inquisitions ad quod damnum, file 386, 

p. 58. no. 3. 

* Feet of Fines, Divers Counties, 22 * D.C.M. i. 5. 

Edw. III. ■' Ibid, and i. 6. 

^ Inq. post mortem, 6 Hen. IV. no 33 ; 


By this date at any rate, Lady de Mohun was 
aiming at something more than a Hfe interest in her 
husband's estates. She seems indeed to have obtained 
complete ascendency over him, either by the power 
of the purse or by superior force of character. It 
was for her, and not for him, that Walter de la Houe, 
Abbot of Newenham, compiled a professedly historic- 
al work which describes the first William de Mohun 
as the noblest man in the whole army of William the 
Conqueror, and recounts how Reynold de Mohun 
was created Earl of Somerset by Pope Innocent. ^ 
In the Latin supplement to it, written, in 1350, by 
John Osberne, constable of Dunster, he describes him- 
self as " the clerk and servant " of this " most 
excellent and most beneficent " lady, " the daughter 
of the most illustrious, active and noble knight. Sir 
Bartholomew of Burghersh, the elder, " while her 
husband is practically ignored. ^ 

In 1369, Sir John and Lady de Mohun, having 
no expectation of male issue, and relying on the fine 
of 1346, in preference to the deed of conveyance 
from William of Fordham and Maud of Bourton of 
the same year, resolved to make a fresh settlement of 
the nucleus of his hereditary property. Realising 
perhaps that the validity of their proceedings might 
some day be called in question, they took care, this 
time, to select trustees of high social rank, Simon of 
Sudbury, Bishop of London, Sir Aubrey de Vere, 
knight, and Sir John of Burghersh, knight. By 
letters patent issued on the 6th of July, the King 
empowered Sir John and Lady de Mohun to convey 
the manor and the hundred of Carhampton to these 
three persons, who were at the same time empowered 

1 See pp. 2, 3, 22-25, above. Mohun Chronicle ; Devon Notes and 

- St. George's extracts from the Queries, vol. iv. p. 251. 



to dispose of them by alienation, gift, or demise, in 
fee simple or otherwise, according to the pleasure 
and order of the lady, conveyance in mortmain being 
alone forbidden. ^ The first difficulty having been 
thus overcome, it was comparatively simple to obtain 
similar letters patent on the 24th and 26th of the 
same month with regard to the castle of Dunster 
and the manors of Minehead and Kilton. In the 
second transaction, Richard, Earl of Arundel was 
associated with the three trustees named above, but 
he eventually retired. ^ The trustees seem to have 
entered, for, in i 371, two of them appointed attorneys 
to deliver to Patrick Everard and Joan his wife seisin 
of some land in the manor of Minehead, and, in 
1373, the Bishop granted to the same Patrick two 
acres in the Hanger at Dunster between the ditch 
of the vineyard and Brooklane. ^ 

In 1374, Lady de Mohun arranged to sell the 
reversion of the castle and manor of Dunster, the 
manors of Minehead and Kilton, and the hundred of 
Carhampton to Lady Elizabeth Luttrell, a widow of 
noble birth. The purchaser paid a deposit of 200/. 
to Lady de Mohun, Aubrey de Vere and Michael 
atte Mede, upon condition that it should be refunded 
to her in case the arrangement were not carried 
through. It was distinctly recognised that the bargain 
might fail " as in levying of the fine or of the grant 
and lease of the castle, manors and hundred aforesaid 
with all their appurtenances cutting off the remain- 
der." * Sir John de Mohun's daughters may have raised 
objections, and the Earl of Arundel's withdrawal 
from the trust about this time is significant. By the 

» D.C.M. I. 4; Patent Roll, 6 Hen. ^ d.C.M. i. 13. 

IV. part 2, m. 27. * D.C.M. i. 7. 

» /fe/W. 


summer of 1375, matters had not got beyond the 
levying of a fine by which the premises were con- 
veyed to the trustees absolutely. ^ Soon after this, Sir 
John de Mohun died, the exact date being the 15th 
of September 1 375. ^ He was duly buried at Bruton, 
in accordance with the will already mentioned. In 
the account of the bailiff of the hundred of Carhamp- 
ton for 1387, there is a charge against the widow: — 

" In holding the anniversary of the Lord de Mohun at 
Bruton in the last year, not already claimed, and In the 
present year, 21J. "^ 

In John de Mohun the fifth, the senior male line 
of the family came to an end. He left issue three 
daughters, all of whom made brilliant matches : — 

Elizabeth, the eldest, born at Goring in 1343.* She 
married William of Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, 
one of the original Knights of the Garter. ^ She 
too was entitled to wear the robes of the Order. " 
By a will dated in November 141 4, she left minute 
instructions for her burial at Bisham Abbey oppos- 
ite to the tomb of her husband, who had died in 
1397.^ She died in the January following, without 
issue. ^ 

Philippa, the second, doubtless a god-daughter of the 
Queen of Edward the Third. She married firstly 
Sir Waher Fitzwalter, who died in 1386, secondly 
Sir John Golafre, who died in 1396, and thirdly 

1 Feet of Fines, Somerset, 48 Edvv. « Beltz's Memorials of the Order of 
III. (Green, iii. 87.) the Garter, pp. 248, 249, 255. A 

2 Exchequer Inquisitions, series i. statement there (p. 39) that she was 
file 41 no. 23. " received into the sisterhood of the 

3 D.'c.M. XXXI. 2. convent of St. Albans," in 1408, has 
* Add. MS. 28649. f- 265. been misunderstood to mean that she 
5 Planche gives tlie date of the took the veil. 

marriage as 1361, but without citing ^ -UlcoXzs'iTeslamental ctiista,^.i^i. 

any authority. Journal of British Mnq. post mortem, 4 Hen. V. no. 55. 

Archceological Association, vol.ix. p. 374. 


Edward, Duke of York, who was slain at Agin- 
court in 141 5. By a will dated at Carisbrooke 
Castle in 1430, she directed that she should be 
buried in the conventual church of Westminster, 
and her monument is still to be seen there in the 
Chapel of St. Nicholas. ^ She died in 1 43 1 , without 
issue. ' 
Maud, the youngest. She married Sir John le Strange 
of Knockin, who died in i 397. She predeceased her 
mother, leaving a son and heir Richard, who was 
sometimes styled ' Lord of Knockin and Mohun. ' ^ 
According to the peerages, the barony of Mohun 
descended through the Stranges and the Stanleys 
to Ferdinand, Earl of Derby, who died in 1594. 
As the only grandchild of the last of the Mohuns of 
Dunster, Sir Richard le Strange succeeded eventu- 
ally to the manors of Whichford, Long Compton, 
Bradworthy, Greywell and Cutcombe, and perhaps 
to some other relics of their ancient inheritance. 

It was not until more than a year after the death 
of Sir John de Mohun that his relict completed 
her bargain with Lady Luttrell. On the 1 8th of 
November 1376, a fine was levied whereby the three 
trustees settled the castle of Dunster, the manors of 
Kilton, Minehead and Carhampton, and the hundred 
of Carhampton on Joan de Mohun for her life, with 
remainder to Elizabeth Luttrell and her heirs. * 
Two days later, a formal receipt for the purchase 
money was made out, which may be given in the 
original language : — 

' Nicholas' Royal Wills, p. 224. no. 45. 
There are engravings of the monument ^ Feet of Fines, London & Middlesex 

in Cough's Sepulchral Monuments, 22 Hen. VI. 

vol. ii, and Stothard's Monumental ^ Feet of Fines, Somerset, 50 Edw. 

Effigies, p. 88. III. (Green. 89.) 

* Inq. post mortem, 10 Hen. VI. 


" Sachent touz gentz que cestes lettres verrount ou orrount 
moy Johane que fu la femme Johan de Mohun de DonsterrCy 
chivaler, avoir receuz de Elizabeth que fu la femme Andrew 
Lutrelly chivaler^ cynkz milk marcz de bonne monoie en plein 
paiement pour le chastellde Donsterre etles manoirs de Mynheved^ 
Culveton et Karampton^ ove le hundred de Karampton ove toutes 
lour appurtenanlz. De queux cynkz milk marcz je me tiegne 
bien et loialment estre paiez et la dite Elizabeth quitesparycestes. 
En tesmoignance de quele chose a ycestes jay mys mon seal. 
Donne a Londres le vintisme Jour de Novembre Ian du regne le 
Roy Edward tierz puis le conquest cynquantisme. " ^ 

It would be interesting to know how Lady Luttrell 
contrived to raise so large a sum, and how she paid 
it over, although it is not necessary to believe that 
the whole of it was in coin of the realm. So too it 
would be interesting to know how Lady de Mohun 
disposed of it. A guess may, however, be hazarded 
that her husband had left considerable debts. It may 
be noted by the way that on the only occasion since 
the Norman Conquest on which Dunster Castle has 
passed by sale, it was sold by one widow and bought 
by another. In one respect. Lady de Mohun certain- 
ly got the best of the bargain, for she lived nearly 
thirty years after the receipt of the money paid for 
rights in reversion. 

From 1376 to 1404, Dunster Castle seems to 
have been practically shut up. None but the most 
necessary repairs were made. When Lady de Mohun 
came down to visit her property in 1398, she took 
up her abode at Minehead, to which place the reeve 
of Dunster sent beef, mutton, and a vast quantity of 
beer. ^ For her a gloomy fortress in the west of 
England can have had no attraction. She greatly prefer- 

1 D.C.M. I. 32. According to Sir Roll, no. 581. m. uo-*. 
Hugh Luttrell the purchase money * D.C.M. ix. 4. 

was fixed at 5500 marks. De Banco 


red the gay atmosphere of the Court, and, as a change, 
the ecclesiastical surroundings of Canterbury. Thus 
we hear of her staying at London, Easthampstead, 
and Sheen. Her agents in Somerset remitted money 
to her from time to time, and occasionally provisions, 
such as porpoises, wine and chestnuts. ^ 

When at Court, Lady de Mohun often exercised 
her influence in favour of condemned criminals. * 
All the while, however, she was mindful of her own 
interests. Not content with rents of all her late 
husband's estates, and the large sum that she had 
received from Lady Luttrell, she managed to extract 
valuable concessions from her royal patrons. In 
1384, Richard the Second, in consideration of her 
good service to him and the Queen, granted to her 
an annuity of 1 00/. for life out of the issues of the 
stannary of Devon and Cornwall. ^ This she after- 
wards exchanged for the manor and hundred of 
Macclesfield, which were of somewhat greater value. * 
It is worthy of remark that in some of the letters 
patent she is styled the King's ' cousin, ' although 
she was not really related to him in blood. Queen 
Anne gave her a lease of the important castle and 
manor of Leeds, in Kent, with its mill, fishery and 
park. Inasmuch, however, as the Queen failed to 
do the promised repairs. Lady de Mohun applied to 
the King to be excused from the payment of rent for 
the rest of her life. ^ 

Lady de Mohun had no desire to be buried beside 
her husband in the obscure priory of Bruton, and, 

> D.C.M. IX. 3, 4. * Ibid. i^Ss-ijSg, pp. 35, 48, 163, 

* CakiidarofPalfntRolh,i38i-i3Ss, 188, 372 ; Thirty-fourth Report of the 

pp. 306, 363 ; i^S^-i^Sg, p. 328 ; 1388- Deputy Keeper of the Records, App. ii. 

1392^ P- 258. p. 349. 

^ Calendarof Patent Rolls, 1381-1385, * Ancient Petitions, 11003. 

p. 457- 




some years before her death, she erected for herself 
an elaborate monument near the altar of St. Mary in 
the crypt, or undercroft, of the cathedral church 
of Canterbury. There her effigy is still to be seen. 
The head rests upon two tasselled cushions supported 
by angels. The crown is encircled with a richly 
jewelled garland, and a jewelled frontlet stretches 
across the top of the forehead. A great mass of hair 
enclosed in a fret, or jewelled net, descends on both 
sides of the face to the level of the chin. As Lady 
de Mohun had long since cast off all signs of 
widowhood, she does not wear a barbe and her neck 
is quite bare. A row of ten very large buttons 
adorns the close-fitting tunic of brocade known as a 
cote hardie^ without sleeves and cut away for a con- 
siderable space beneath the armholes, thus revealing 
part of a jewelled girdle. Beneath is a kirtle reaching 
down to the feet, and there are remains of an outer 
mantle hanging from the shoulders. The lion at 
her feet is mutilated, and her hands have been 
broken off since 1726. The dateless inscription, 
repeated on either side, shows the pride which, even 
as an aged widow, she took in her maiden name : — 

(por ^\t\x |)rte^ yor fdrtne 3o?ane be (gorwaBC^e 
fte feut bame be (Uto^um 

The effigy lies under a groined canopy supported by 
six lofty buttresses connected by cusped and crocketed 
arches. ^ There are no armorial bearings on the monu- 
ment itself, but the shields of the families of Mohun, 
Burghersh, Montacute, Strange and Despencer are to 
be seen in the cloisters of the great church above. ^ 

* Dart's History of Canterbury Calhe- vol. xiii. pp. 533-535- 
tiral, p. 87 ; Stothard's Monumental * Willement's Heraldic Notices of 

Effigies, p. 67 ; Archaeologia Cauiiana. Canterbury Cathedral, p. 133. 


In 1395, Lady de Mohun entered into a formal 
agreement with the Prior and Convent of Christ 
Church, Canterbury, that her body should be buried 
in the tomb which she had prepared, and never 
removed therefrom. One of the monks was to say 
mass daily for nine specified persons at the altar of 
St. Mary, or, on certain great festivals, at the altar of 
St. John Baptist near the famous tomb of St. Thomas. 
For this service he was to receive 2/. a year, and the 
clerk in charge of the chapel was to receive 5J. a 
year for keeping the tomb clean and in good con- 
dition. On the eve of the anniversary of her death, 
placebo and dirige were to be sung. On the anni- 
versary, a solemn mass of requiem was to be said, the 
celebrant receiving 6^". 8^. and the other two clergy 
3^. 4^/. apiece. A hundred poor people were also to 
receive id. apiece. In consideration of the benefits 
promised. Lady de Mohun gave to the monks 
350 marks, a set of three vestments of green "sendal " 
and two choir-copes of cloth of gold valued at 20/., 
a missal worth 5/. and a chalice worth 2/. besides a 
bed worth 20/. of white and red " camaka, " with 
four cushions of the same, a covering lined with 
blue silk and curtains of " sendal *' of Genoa and 
Tripoli. ^ 

Of the nine persons for whom masses were to be 
said, four were living in 1395 : — Richard, King of 
England, Lady Joan de Mohun, the foundress of the 
Chantry, ' Elizabeth ' presumably the Countess of 
Salisbury, her daughter, and Elizabeth le Despencer, 
her niece. The other five persons already deceased 
were — ' John ' doubtless her husband, ' Edward ' per- 
haps the late King, another ' Edward ' either the Black 

' Legg and St. John Hope's Inventories ofCliristchurch, Canterbury, p. 99 


Prince or the husband of her niece, and Philippa 
and Anne, Queens of England. The omission from 
the list of her deceased daughter Maud, her living 
daughter Philippa, and her living grandson Richard 
le Strange, is significant. ^ 

When Lady de Mohun felt her end approaching, 
she sent for the Prior of Christ Church and delivered 
to him a closed box, to be entrusted to the two 
monks who acted as guardians of the shrine (feretri) 
of St. Thomas. The box contained the royal letters 
patent of 1369, and various important documents 
connected with the sale of Dunster, Minehead, Kilton 
and Carhampton. Conscious that there was likely to 
be trouble about her action in this matter, she bound 
the Prior to deliver the box to her heirs or to Sir 
Hugh Luttrell if either they or he got possession of 
the property without opposition, or to the successful 
party if there should be a suit at law. ^ 

On the same day, Lady de Mohun made her will, 
at a house in the precincts of Canterbury known as 
Master Omer's. ^ To the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
whom she nominated an executor, she bequeathed a 
psalter covered with white, and to her son-in-law the 
Duke of York a fair copy of the Legenda Sanctorum 
and another illuminated book. To his wife she left 
her blessing, suggestive of a previous estrangement, 
and her best ruby. Her other daughter the Countess 
of Salisbury, was to have her favourite cross and a 
second copy of the Legenda Sanctorum^ and Lady le 
Despencer the elder was to have a bed of green silk. 
The only other relation mentioned was William 
Burghersh. To the Prior of Christ Church she 
bequeated some old hangings embroidered with lions 

• Arundel MS. Lxviii. ft". 59, 60. 120. 

* De Banco Roll, no. 581, mm. 119, * Aichceologia Cantiaiia, vii. p. 96. 


and some " ystayned " hangings. One of her mantles 
was to be reserved for the wife of Sir Thomas 
Hawkwood. Friar John, her own confessor, was to 
receive i o marks, and another Franciscan friar named 
Henry, 40s. There were further legacies to her six 
maidservants, to Philip Caxton her clerk, to John 
Sumpterman and John Gardener and other men who 
were presumably in her service. Provision was also 
made for the maintenance of three young scholars 
then at Canterbury. Every poor person coming to 
her funeral was to receive \d. and on that occasion 
twelve poor men clothed in black at her expense 
were to hold torches, in addition to the four great 
candles weighing 20 lb. that were to burn during 
the ceremony. AH goods not otherwise disposed of 
were bequeathed to the church of Canterbury. ^ 

Two days after making the will to the foregoing 
effect. Lady de Mohun died, on the 4th of Octo- 
ber 1404. ^ 

' Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. ii. f. 2i8. 

pp. 302, 303, from Arundel's Register, ' Inq. post mortem, 6 Hen. IV. ;i2- 

Old tile in Dunster Church 
with the arms of mohun. 


The early Luttrells 
I191 — 1403. 

Luttrell, originally spelt Luterel, or Loterel, was 
probably a diminutive of Loutre^ the French word 
for an otter. Applied in the first instance as a per- 
sonal nickname, it became a hereditary surname. The 
fact that a certain Osbert Lotrel had the farm of 
Arques in Normandy in 1 180 and 1 198 rather tends 
to confirm the idea that the family was of foreign 
origin. ^ 

His contemporary, Geoffrey Luttrell, acquired a 
small property at Gamston and Bridgeford in Notting- 
hamshire in the later part of the twelfth century. 
During the absence of Richard the First in Palestine, 
this Geoffrey Luttrell took part in the unsuccessful 
rebellion of John, Count of Mortain, and was conse- 
quently deprived of his lands. ^ He was, however, re- 
instated after the accession of the Count to the throne 
of England, ^ and from 1 204 to i 2 1 5 he seems to have 
been continuously employed in public business in one 
capacity or another. Many royal charters of the period 

' Rotuli Scaccarii Nonnannice (ed. The name of Luttrell does not occur 

Stapleton), vol. i. p. 65; vol. ii. p. 422. in Domesday Book, It is almost need- 

A certain John Loutrel of Dieppe is less to remark that the Roll of Battle 

mentioned as a subject of the French Abbey, in which it is to be found, has 

King in 1419. Three years later, Robert no historical authority. 

Loterel was presented to a church near - Pipe Rolls 6 and 7 Ric. I. Notts. 

Bayeux. Norman Rolls, 6 Hen.V. part ' Roinli Chaitarum, p. 91. 
2, mm. 40, I ; 9 Hen. V. m. 5. 


were witnessed by him as a person in frequent per- 
sonal attendance upon the King/ For a time, he had 
authority to issue writs in the King's name with re- 
gard to wine. ^ He afterwards became paymaster of 
the King's ships. ' In 1 204 and again in i 2 1 5, he was 
in Ireland with large administrative powers.* In 
1 206, he was in Poitou and Gascony as one of the 
King's treasurers. ^ 

In I 2 15, John appointed Sir Geoffrey Luttrell to 
be his sole agent in negotiations with regard to the 
dower of Queen Berengaria, commissioning him at the 
same time to join with the Archbishops of Bordeaux 
and Dublin in denouncing to the Pope the rebellious 
barons who had recently extorted the Great Charter of 
English Liberties. In one of the documents connected 
with this business, he is styled ' nobilis vir' ^ His 
mission was so far successful that Innocent the Third 
annulled the Charter, suspended the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, and excommunicated the barons, but it is un- 
certain whether Sir Geoffrey Luttrell was one of those 
who conveyed the papal bull from Rome to England. 
The exact date of his death, which must have taken 
place in 1 2 1 6, or at the latest in 1 2 1 7, is not recorded. 

As a reward for personal services, Sir Geoffrey 
Luttrell received from King John grants for life of the 
houses of the Jew, Isaac of York, at Oxford and North- 
ampton, and those of another Jew named Bonnechose 
at the former place. ^ The King also granted to him 

' Rotuli Chiirtarnm passim. * Rotnli Lift. Patentinm, vol. i. pp. 

- Rotuli Litt. Claiisariim, vol. i. pp. 59, 66 ; Rotuli Litt. Clansarum, vol. i. 

57, 100, 104-108, 110. pp. 61, 63. 

^ Rotuli de Liberate, &c. pp. 176, * Rotuli Chartarum, p. 219 ; Rotuli 

I79i 1^5. 188, 194, 202, 206, 208, 213, Litt. Patentium, vol. i. pp. 181, 182. 

227-229. ' Rotuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. pp. 

* Rotuli Chartarum, p. 133 ; Rotuli 227, 366, 386, 399, 407 ; Close Rolls, 

Litt. Patentium, vol. i. pp. 39, 4r, 48, 122^-1231, pp. 276, 282 ; Calendar of 

153) 154 ; Rotuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. Charter Rolls, vol. i. p. 109. 
i. pp. 14, 137, 146, 188, 191, 224, 303. 


some land at Croxton, in Leicestershire. ^ In consider- 
ation, moreover, of twenty ounces of gold, he ob- 
tained property at Cratelach in Thomond.' 

The real foundation of the subsequent prosperity of 
the Luttrell family was laid by the marriage of Sir 
Geoffrey to a daughter and coheiress of William 
Paynell, whose singular Christian name Frethesant is 
apparently a continental form of the English name 
Frideswyde. Although this lady's father was only a 
younger scion of the great family of Paynell, she and 
her sister, Isabel Bastard, inherited from him no less 
than fifteen knights' fees, for the most part situated 
in Yorkshire. ' 

In 1 2 1 7, Henry of Newmarch paid 40 marks to 
the King for licence to marry Frethesant the relict of 
Sir Geoffrey Luttrell if she would consent, and the 
marriage duly took place. * 

Andrew Luttrell, son and heir of Sir Geoffrey, 
being under age at the time of his father's death, was 
for some months a ward of the Crown. By arrange- 
ment, however, with Ralph de Rodes, the overlord of 
his lands in Nottinghamshire, the King, in 121 8, 
committed the custody of his person and his property 
to PhiHp Mark, a man of some importance in the 
midland counties, who had been one of the councillors 
of King John. It was distinctly stipulated at the time 
that he should marry a daughter of his guardian. "" By 
the successive deaths of his mother's niece, the only 

1 Rofuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. pp. John, York. 

14, 61 ; Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. vii. ■• Excerpta e Rotulis Finiurn, vol. i. 

p. 877. p. 9 ; Testa dc Nevill, p. 375, where 

''' Rotitli Litt. Pateiitium, vol. i. p. she is erroneously described as the 

151 ; Rottili dc Oblatis, &c. p. 556. relict of William Paynell. 

* Pedes Fiiiium Ebor. (Surtees So- ^ Roiuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. pp. 

ciety) pp. 87, 88 ; Rotuli dc Oblatis, &c. 353, 356, 393, 522 ; Excerpta e Rotulis 

p. 205 ; Red Book of the Exchequer, Finiurn, vol. i. p. 83. 
PP- 77, 430, 490, 569 ; Pipe Roll, 13 


child of Isabel Bastard, and his own mother Frethesant, 
Andrew Luttrell became heir to the whole barony of 
his grandfather, WiUiam Paynell. On attaining his 
majority, in 1 229, and doing the necessary homage, he 
obtained possession of his hereditary estates in York- 
shire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire. ^ In the 
following year, he laid claim to a considerable part of 
the landed property of his third cousin, Maurice of 
Gaunt, the heir of the elder branch of the Paynell 

It has been remarked already that Dunster Castle 
has belonged to only two families, the Mohuns and 
the Luttrells, since the Norman Conquest. ^ The 
history of the manor of East Quantockshead, nine 
miles to the east of Dunster, affords a yet more 
remarkable instance of the continuity of land tenure 
in England, its present owner, Mr. G. F. Luttrell, 
being, through only two females, the lineal descendant 
of Ralph Paynell, who held it in the reign of William 
the Conqueror. There is no occasion to attempt in 
this place to trace the very complicated genealogy of 
the great house of Paynell, whose name still survives 
at Hooton Pagnell, Boothby Pagnell and Newport 
Pagnell. A simple table will suffice to show the rela- 
tionship between Maurice of Gaunt and Andrew 

Maurice of Gaunt died in the expedition which 
Henry the Third led into Brittany in the summer of 
1230. ^ Andrew Luttrell thereupon went to the 
King in Poitou and put forward a claim to the manors 

' Close Rolls, 1227-1231, p. 275. p. 201. For a very learned, though 

- That is, without reckoning the confused, account of the Paynells and 

temporary intrusion of the Herberts, their successors, see the York volume 

during the reigns of Edward IV, Ed- of Proceedings of the Archctological 

ward V, and Richard ni. Institute. See also Bracton's Notc- 

' E.vcerpta e Rotnlis Finiitm. vol. i. book, vol. ii. p. 86. 




Ralph Paynell,yMaud, dau. and co-heir of 
fl. 1086, 1 100. I Richard de Surdeval 

William = Avice de Rumilly, dau. of Jordan Paynell= Gertrude, 

fl. 1131. 

William le Meschine, fl. 1131. dau, of 

Earl of Cambridge, relict Robert 

of William de Courcy. Fossard. 

. Ellis Paynell, 

Prior of Holy Trinity, 

Richard = Alice =Robert of York fl. 114-2. 

de Courcy, dead in 
fl. 1138. 1182 

Gaunt, d. 

Alexander = Agnes, dau. of 
Paynell. | Robert Fossard, 

Robert son of = Avice, 

Robert son 

of Harding, 
d. 1195. 

married | 

inii82. William Paynell, = dau. of Agnes 

d. circa 1203. I de Muntchenesy 

Geoffrey Luttrell,=|= Frethesant= Henry of William =Isabel. 
fl. 1191, 1216. I fl. 1217. Newmarch, Bastard. 
I fl. 121 7. 

Andrew \ \ 

Luttrell, Jordan Paynell. = Agnes = Robert de Buscy. 

d. 1265. I 


Adam Paynell. Richard Paynell. 

Maud, dau. = Maurice of = Margaret, relict Henry of Gaunt, Master 
of Henry Gaunt, of Ralph de of Billeswick hospital, 

d'Oyly. d. 1230. Somery. fl. 1268. 


of (East) Quantockshead, Stockland, Huish, Pawlet 
and Weare in the county of Somerset, and Irnham 
in the county of Lincoln, as his lawful inheritance. 
The question of descent being obviously a difficulty, 
he offered to pay a hundred marks for an enquiry, 
provided that he should be absolved from payment 
in the event of his claim being disallowed. Upon 
these conditions, the King ordered his justices in 
England to institute the enquiry requested. ^ So 
uncertain, however, did the result appear that Walter 
de Evermue obtained from the King a formal grant 
for life of the manors of Quantockshead and Huish, 
subject only to the possible rights of the claimant. 

A few years later, the grant was revoked, these two 
manors being assigned, in lieu of dower, to Margaret 
de Somery, the relict of Maurice of Gaunt. ^ 

Andrew Luttrell entirely failed to show any right 
to the manors of Pawlet and Weare, and they accord- 
ingly passed to Robert de Gurney, son of the half- 
sister of the last owner. ^ On the other hand, in 
April 123 I, he obtained an order for the delivery of 
the manor of Irnham, upon giving security for the 
payment of a hundred marks, which was the amount 
of relief due on succession to a great barony. * He 
had to wait thirteen months longer for an admission 
of his right to the manors of Stockland, Quantocks- 
head and Huish. ^ Some years later, a certain Mau- 
rice of Leigh and Agnes his wife, who seems to have 
been related to the Gaunts, set up a claim to a great 
part of the Paynell inheritance, and Andrew Luttrell 
had to cede to them Huish and East Bagborough, 

' Close Rolls, 1227-1231, p. 437. Finitim, vol. i., pp. 205, 207. 

* Ibid. p. 499. ■• Ibid. p. 212. 

* Ibid. p. 505 ; Exccrpta e Rotulis * Close Rolls, 1231-1234, p. 59. 


retaining only the overlordship with certain services 
and reversionary rights. ^ Altogether, his barony 
comprised fifteen knights' fees of his grandfather 
William Paynell of Hooton, and twelve and a half fees 
of his cousin Maurice of Gaunt. ^ 

In 1 242, Andrew Luttrell was summoned to per- 
form military service against the Scots. ^ He was 
appointed Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1251, but in the 
following year he paid three marks of gold for exemp- 
tion during the remainder of his life from serving as 
justice, sheriff, bailiff, or juror. * He also obtained 
from the King a grant of free warren on his paternal 
estates at Gamston and Bridgeford in Nottingham- 
shire, and a grant, or rather confirmation, of a weekly 
market and a yearly fair at Irnham, which was prob- 
ably his ordinary residence. ^ Hooton he made over 
to his eldest son Geoffrey, and East Quantockshead 
to his second son Alexander, presumably on the oc- 
casions of their respective marriages. ^ At different 
times in the course of his life, he granted or con- 
firmed lands and rights to the Abbey of Drax, founded 
by William Paynell, to the Priory of Nostell, to the 
Abbey of Roche, and to the Hospital of St. Mark at 
Billeswick near Bristol, founded by Maurice of Gaunt. ^ 
Sir Andrew Luttrell died in 1265,^ leaving a widow 
Pernel, who was living in 1267, ^ three sons and a 
daughter ; — 
Geoffrey, ancestor of the Luttrells of Irnham. 

• Feet of Fines, Divers Counties, pp. 295, 392. 

24 Henry n I, (Green, vol. i. p. 368.) ; ® Roles Gascons, Vol. i. p. 498. See 

Somersetshire Picas (S. R. S.), p. 173. below. 

' Pipe Roll 39 Hen. HI. Yorkshire. ' Burton's Monasticon Eboracense ; 

' Roles Gascons (ed. Michel), vol. i. Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. i. pp. 

p. 26. 147, 170; vol. iii. p. 172. 

* List of Sheriffs, p. 78; Calendar ^ Calendar of Inquisitions, \o\. '\. pp. 
of Patent Rolls, 1247-1258, p. 133. 192, 195. 

■'' Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. i. » Giffard's Register. 


Alexander, ancestor of the Luttrells of East Quan- 
tockshead, Chilton, and Dunster. 

Robert, a clerk and a graduate. He was, in 1262, 
presented by his father to the rectory of Irnham/ 
He founded three chantries, at Irnham, Stamford 
and Sempringham respectively, about the year 
1303. ^ He died in 131 5, being at that time a 
Canon of Salisbury. ^ 

Annora the wife of Sir Hugh Boby. ^ 

Alexander Luttrell, the second son, received 
from his father Andrew, a grant of the manor of 
East Quantockshead and the advowson of the church 
there, to be held by him and the heirs of his body 
for ever at a yearly rent of a pair of gilt spurs or 
6c/. at Whitsuntide. ^ After the death of Sir Andrew 
Luttrell, this grant was confirmed by his son and heir 
Geoffrey, ^ and, after the death of Margery the relict 
of Maurice of Gaunt, her son. Sir Roger de Somery, 
in 1269, released all his possible rights in East Quan- 
tockshead and conveyed it to Alexander Luttrell in 
fee. ^ At one period of his life, Alexander Luttrell 
held some land at Hickling in Nottinghamshire. * 

In 1266, Alexander Luttrell obtained from the 
King the custody of his elder brother, Sir Geoffrey, 
who had lost the use of his reason. ^ In 1 270, he 
embarked for the Holy Land in the retinue of the 
King's eldest son, Edward, leaving the management 
of his affairs at home in the hands of a neighbour, 

' Grosseteste's Register ; Heralds' 6i, f. 74 ; Picture of Our Lady, f. 97. 

College MS. Picture of Our Lady, * D.C.M. xxii. i. 

f. 97. « Ibid. 

* Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. vii, ^ Ibid.; Somerset Fines (ed. Green), 
p. 948. vol. i. p. 226. 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1313- ® Heralds' College MS. Vincent 7, 

/5J7, p. 280 ; Calendar of Close Rolls, ff. 53, 88. 

131S-132J. p. 102. ^ Patent Rolls 50 Hen. III. m. 15 ; 

* Heralds' College MS. Vincent 52 Hen. HI. m. 3. 


Sir Warin de Raleigh, whom he appointed his at- 
torney for four years. ^ It is very doubtful whether 
he returned from the Crusade. The fact of his death 
was known in Somerset at the beginning of April 
1273, when the king's escheator took possession of 
his lands. ^ Sir Alexander left issue two sons under age 
and a daughter : — 

Andrew, his heir. 

John, who occurs in 1305 in connexion with a wife 

named Rose. ^ 
Annora, under age in 1 279, who seems to have married 

her neighbour Ralph Fitzurse of Williton. ^ 

Sir Alexander Luttrell's wife was Margery daugh- 
ter and coheiress of Thomas son of William, from 
whom she received some land at Royton, Thorp, and 
Healey in Lancashire, which she and her husband 
sold to Sir John Byron. ^ In July 1273, she received 
by way of dower a stone-roofed house opposite to 
the hall of her late husband's manor of East Quan- 
tockshead, another small house similarly roofed, two 
cow-houses, a chamber over the gate, an old garden 
adjoining the houses, two ponds, a third of the dove- 
cot, and various lands, services and rents, carefully 
specified in the King's writ, and representing in all a 
third of the estate. ** The heir being a minor, she 
also obtained a lease of the other two thirds for a 
year and half. ^ 

Before long, however, she got into trouble by mar- 
rying Sir Giles of Fishbourne, a knight who served 

' Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. p. 484; m.9; D.C.M. xxxii. 100 ; xxxiii. i. 

Close Roll 54 Hen. III. m.6(/. * Close Roll 54 Hen. HI. m. 5^^; 

^ RoUili Hundredonim, vol. n. p. 12S; Lancashire Fines (ed. Farrer), vol. i. 

Fine Rolls, i Edw. I. m. 21. p. 133 ; Calendar of Close Rolls, 1272- 

^ Heralds' College MS. Picture of 12^9, p. 246. 

Our Lady, f. 7yd ; Vincent 92. ^ Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 2^2-1 27^, 

* Assize Rolls, no. 1224, m. 12 ; no. p. 24. 

1242, m. 2d ; no. 758, m. 21 ; no. 1345, ' Rotuli Hundredorum, vol. ii. p. 125. 


in the Welsh wars of Edward the First. A widow 
whose husband held land directly under the Crown 
was not, in those days, a free agent. She could not 
re-marry without royal licence, granted sometimes as 
a favour to one of the parties, sometimes in consider- 
ation of a pecuniary fine. Margery Luttrell and Sir 
Giles of Fishbourne cannot have been ignorant of the 
law on this subject, but they may reasonably have 
supposed that she was at liberty to marry whomsoever 
she chose, inasmuch as her late husband's lands were 
held under the feudal lord of Irnham. Sir Geoffrey 
Luttrell, the lunatic, had, however, died in the early 
part of 1 270, leaving as his heir a son under age, who 
became a ward of the King.^ All wardships pertain- 
ing to this heir, such as that of the son of Sir Alexander 
Luttrell, had passed without question to the King, and 
the agents of the Crown alleged that Sir Alexander 
had held direct of the King during the minority of 
the intermediate lord. On this ground they contended 
that Margery was one of the King's widows, and Sir 
Ralph of Sandwich seized East Quantockshead, in the 
name of his royal master, on account of her offence. 
The course of the subsequent proceedings is not very 
clear. Sir Giles and Margery were certainly married 
as early as 1276 ; an undated petition for redress was 
apparently referred to the Parliament of 1278, but it 
was not until 1280 that Sir Giles of Fishbourne receiv- 
ed formal pardon of his marriage. ^ 

Andrew Luttrell, the eldest son of Sir Alexander, 
was, as we have seen, a minor at the time of his father's 
death. The custody of the manor of East Quantocks- 

• Patent Roll 54 Hen. HI. m. 8. p. 363 ; Calauiar of Patent Rolls, 12J2- 

* Rotuli Parliamentorum, vol. i. p. 1281, p. 384. 
5; Calendar of Close Rolls I2y2-i2yg, 


head, or rather of his two thirds of it, was, in the 
autumn of 1 274, committed to Robert Tibetot by the 
King, as guardian of his overlord, the son of Sir 
Geoffrey Luttrell. ^ Andrew Luttrell was, in 1301, 
summoned to perform miUtary service against the 
Scots, being reckoned as belonging to Devonshire, 
where he held land at Whitwell. ^ He was knighted 
in due course, and he was living in 1310.^ While 
still in his teens, and during the lifetime of his father, 
he had, in 1 270, married Elizabeth daughter of Sir 
Warin de Raleigh. * He appears to have left three 
sons : — 

Alexander, his heir. 

John, ancestor of the Luttrells of Dunster. 

Andrew, a clerk. When instituted to the rectory of 
East Quantockshead at a very early age, in April 
1 329, on the nomination of Sir Alexander Luttrell, 
he took an oath to study diligently at an English 
University. Formal leave of absence for this purpose 
was granted to him a few months later. His dio- 
cesan allowed him to be ordained acolyte in Decem- 
ber of that year and subdeacon in the following 
February, by some other bishop, and his leave of 
absence was renewed in December 1330. In March 
1337, he received permission to stay in the service 
of his brother John. A priest was appointed to 
succeed him at East Quantockshead in 1341. ^ 

Alexander Luttrell, the eldest son of Sir Andrew, 
was born about 1285. *^ He seems to have succeeded 
his father in or before i 326, when he received respite 

» Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 272-1 279, * D.C.M. xxii. i; Assize Roll no. 

p. 103 ; Assize Roll no. 1224, m. 106. 1224, mm. 106, 14. 

» Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs, ^ Drokcnsford's Register (S.R.S.), p. 

vol. i. p. 351 ; Feudal Aids vol. i. 300 ; /?a//'//'s iet^zs/er (S.R.S.), pp.6, 20, 

p. 329. 31.64,313,330,433- 

s D.C.M. XXII. I ; XXXVII. i. 6Inq.postmortem,,filei9(3). 


from taking knighthood. ^ He was knighted by 
Edward the Third at the coronation in the early part 
of February 1327. ^ In the same year, a friar minor 
of Bridgewater was Ucensed by the bishop of the 
diocese to act as confessor to Sir Alexander Luttrell 
and his household. ^ In 1342, Sir Alexander Luttrell 
was one of the collectors of the King's wool in the 
county of Somerset. * The manor of East Quantocks- 
head was, in 1329, settled on him and Mary his 
wife. ^ On the authority of some manuscript at 
Brymore, Thomas Palmer, followed as usual by 
CoUinson and by Savage, states that this lady was 
a daughter of Sir Thomas Trivet the judge. * Inas- 
much, however, as Sir Thomas Trivet died in 1283, 
this does not appear probable. ^ On the other hand, 
it is almost certain that she was nearly related to the 
Mandevilles. In 1322, the manor of Hardington 
was settled on Robert de Mandeville, the last male 
of the family, for his life, with remainder to Alexander 
Luttrell and Mary his wife in tail, and ultimate re- 
mainder to the heirs of Robert de Mandeville. ^ Fur- 
thermore, Thomas Luttrell, son of Alexander and 
Mary, was, in 1349, found to be cousin and heir of 
Peter of Falconbridge, who is known to have been the 
nephew of Robert de Mandeville. * 

There is at Dunster an agreement by which the 
Master and brethren of St Mark's House at Billes- 
wick undertook, in 1340, to pay 10/. a year out of 

' Parliamentary Writs, vol. ii. part * Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1321- 

I. pp. 743, 751. -^527, p. 178 ; Inq. ad quod damnum, 

' Exchequer Accounts, bundle 383, files 128, no. 14 ; 152, no. 19; 161, no. i. 

no. 4. Mr. J, Batten, who did not know of the 

* Drokensford's Register, p. 282. entail, suggests that Luttrell was " on- 

* Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 341-1343, ly a trustee, " because he alienated the 
pp. 507, 519, 540. manor some years later. Historical 

* Feet of Fines, (S.R.S.), vol. ii. p. 138. Notes on South Somerset, p. 134. 

^ MS. at St. Audries. * Inq. post mortem, 23 Edw. III. 

' Foss's Judges of England. no. 56 ; Batten, p. 135. 


their manor of Pawlet to Sir Alexander Luttrell and 
Lucy his wife for their lives, if Sir Alexander would 
quitclaim to them all his right in the manor of 
Stockland Gaunt, concerning which a suit was pend- 
ing in the King's court. The record of the suit, 
which was argued at some length on a technical 
point, shows that Sir Alexander Luttrell claimed that 
his grandfather of the same name had been enfeoffed 
by Sir Geoffrey Luttrell in the reign of Edward the 
First. ^ In the same year, 1340, the manor of East 
Quantockshead, with the exception of eight messuages, 
two mills, and a hundred and forty-eight acres of 
land, was settled on Sir Alexander Luttrell and his 
second wife Lucy, with remainder to his heirs. ^ 

In I 343, Sir Alexander Luttrell arranged a marriage 
between his eldest son, Thomas, and Joan daughter of 
Sir John Palton, and undertook to give them i o/. a 
year out of the manor of East Quantockshead. He 
also settled on them the reversion, after his own 
death, of the messuages, mills and land which had been 
excepted from the settlement on his second wife. 
Sir John Palton on the other hand undertook to pay 
him 200 marks, and to maintain the young couple 
during the life of Sir Alexander. ' 

Five years later. Sir Alexander Luttrell conveyed 
the whole manor to Sir John Palton, and Thomas 
Luttrell and Joan his wife in tail, for a yearly rent of 
40 marks and of a robe worth 40J. or 40J. in money. 
They at the same time demised to him for his life a 
hall with certain rooms, a close called La Neweleygh- 
ton, a stable in the outer court of the manor house, 
the hay growing at La Reghmede, and fuel, * house- 

• Placita de Banco, no. 239. m. 94 ; * D.C.M. xxii. i ; Court of Wards 

Year Book, 14 Edw. Ill, pp. 208-223. and Liveries, Deeds and Evidences, 

» Feet 0) Fines, (S.R.S.), vol. ii. p. 204. 11. 2. 


bote ' and ' haybote. ' Lastly, at the end of March 1354, 
he conveyed the manor and the advowson of East 
Quantockshead to Sir John Palton and Thomas 
Luttrell at the reduced rent of 20/. ^ In the follow- 
ing month, he was killed at Watchet, together with 
Alexander Montfort and John Strechleye. Several 
persons were found guilty of murder, and others were 
declared to have been present and assisting. ^ 

Thomas Luttrell, son and successor of Sir 
Alexander, was born about the year 1324. ^ During 
the lifetime of his father, in 1 346, the manor of 
Milton Falconbridge and other lands near Martock, 
which descended to him through his mother, were 
settled on him and Joan his wife in tail, with remain- 
der to his heirs. * This property seems, however, to 
have been alienated ere long. In 1359, Thomas 
Luttrell acquired full possession of the manor and 
advowson of East Quantockshead by means of a re- 
lease from his father-in-law. Sir Thomas Palton, and 
in the following year he caused the manor to be 
settled on himself and his second wife Denise. ^ This 
lady is stated to have survived him and to have mar- 
ried secondly Thomas Popham. ^ She was apparently 
the mother of the last Luttrell of East Quantockshead 
in the direct line. 

John Luttrell, only son of Thomas, succeeded in 
the later part of the reign of Edward the Third. It 
is stated that, in 1 366, Sir Andrew Luttrell of Irnham 
granted the wardship of this John Luttrell to Sir 
Baldwin Malet of Enmore, ^ and a reference to the 

1 D.C.M. XXII. I ; Assize Roll no. * D.C.M. xxxvii. 36. 
1448. m. 52. ■' D.C.M. xxii. I, 2. 

2 Assize Roll no. 772. m. 23^. "^ Palmer MS. at St. Audries. 

* Inq.postmortem, ' Ibid. The reference is apparent- 


pedigree of the Luttrells of Irnham shows that Sir 
Andrew was at that date the overlord of East Quan- 
tockshead. The manor and the advowson were, in 
1398, settled on John Luttrell and Joan his wife, ^ 
who is stated to have been daughter and coheiress of 
Thomas Kingston. ^ At the coronation of Henry the 
Fourth in 1399, John Luttrell was created one of the 
Knights of the Bath. ^ In March 1 400, the King 
took him into his permanent service, and gave him 
an annuity of 40/. out of the issues of the county of 
Somerset. * A year later, the King granted him a 
further annuity of 1 6/. payable at the Exchequer, 
and confirmed to him an annuity of 10/., granted by 
John of Gaunt out of the revenues of the Duchy of 
Lancaster. ^ Sir John Luttrell was Sheriff of Somer- 
set and Dorset for a year beginning in the autumn of 
1401. ^ In the summer of 1403, he took up arms 
on the King's behalf " to resist the malice of a 
certain Sir Henry Percehaye, knight, " that is to say 
to oppose the rising of the Percies, the Mortimers 
and Owen Glendower. By a will expressing this in- 
tention and dated the 20th of May, he directed that 
if he should die without lawful issue before returning 
to his mansion at East Quantockshead, the manor and 
the advowson of the church there and his lands at 
Alfoxton and Watchet should, after payment of his 
debts, be conveyed by his feoffees to his cousin Sir 
Hugh Luttrell and the heirs of his body, or, failing 

ly to an original MS. at Dunster, but ' D.C.M. xxii. 4. 
Thomas Palmer, or his copyist, must * Palmer MS. Here again the 
have made some mistake. There is no reference to a MS. at Dunster is in- 
such deed of grant at Dunster now, correct. 

and there is no mention of it in the ^ Holinshed'sCAron/dt^.vol. ii. p.511. 

compilations of Prynne and Narcissus * Calendar of Patent Rolls, isgg- 

Luttrell. It would probably have re- 1401, p. 238. 

mained among the muniments of the * Ibid. p. 549. 

Malet family. * List of Sheriffs, p. 123. 



them, to the heirs and assigns of John Venables. ^ 
According to Palmer, he made a supplementary will 
on the 4th of June, which was proved on the 4th of 
August in the same year. By this, it is stated, he di- 
rected that some land at Williton was to be conveyed to 
Thomas Popham for life, with remainder to his own 
maternal brother, Richard Popham, and the heirs of his 
body, and, in default of such, to be sold for the benefit 
of his soul, the souls of his ancestors, and the soul of 
John Fitzurse. The manor of Iwood was to be sold 
for the payment of his debts. There was a legacy of 
20/. to Dame Cecily Berkeley, which, if renounced, 
was to be laid out for her soul's health. Lastly, he is 
stated to have made provision for " four of his servant 
maids and certain children they were mothers of. " 

Elsewhere, Palmer states that in the 14th year of 
Edward IV (1474), Anne Watts, widow, gave land at 
Wellow and money to the Priory of Barlinch, in order 
that divine service might be performed for the souls of 
her brother Richard Luttrell, their mother Mary, her 
own two husbands, Robert Bulsham and Richard 
Watts, and her daughter by Bulsham, Agnes the 
wife of Peter Bampfield of Hardington. ^ Richard 
Luttrell was constable of Dunster Castle from 1430 
to 1 449, and perhaps longer. ^ He lived in a house on 
the site of the present Luttrell Arms Hotel. Under 
an entail of 1449, he might have succeeded to the 
whole Barony of Dunster, but he died without lawful 
issue, and, as he was a bastard, his property at Kents- 
ford near Watchet escheated to his overlord, James 
Luttrell of Dunster. * 

' D.C.M. I. 15. The seal attached » MS. at St Audries. 

to this document, although professing ' D.C.M. xviii. 3, 4. 

to be that of the testator, is clearly not < Inq. post mortem, i Edw. IV. no. 

his. It bears a shield charged with 43 : D.C.M. i. 23, 25. An erasure in 

six cross-crosslets, a castle for crest, the letters patent is remarkable, 
and the initials " R.C. " 


The Luttrells of Chilton and Dunster 

The direct line of the Luttrells of East Quantocks- 
head having come to an end in the person of Sir John 
Luttrell, K.B. most of their lands passed to a younger 
branch which already had property in Devonshire. 

John Luttrell, the founder of this younger branch, 
is distinctly stated in a brief of the time of Henry the 
Sixth to have been brother of Sir Andrew Luttrell of 
East Quantockshead, ' but a careful examination of 
dates makes it almost certain that he was his son. 
When, in March 1337, Edward the Third conferred 
the title of Duke of Cornwall upon his eldest son 
Edward, and created six earls, he solemnly dubbed 
a number of knights, of whom this John Luttrell 
was one. ^ In the very same month, Andrew Luttrell 
the youthful rector of East Quantockshead received 
episcopal licence to stay for a while in the service of 
his brother John. ' In the same year, Sir John Lut- 
trell acquired property at Chilton in the parish of 
Thorverton in Devon. * He also had land at Lundy 
Island. ^ He is sometimes described as ' lord of 

' D.C.M. XXXV. 24. (A.D. 1471.) p. 300. 

* Cotton MS. Faustina, B. VI. f. 87. ■• Inq. ad quod damnum, file 239, 

Cf. Stow's Annals, p. 233, and Chro?ii- no. 10. 
coti Galfridi le Baker (1889), p. 58. * Calendar of Close Rolls, 1 343-1 346, 

•* Drokensford's Register (S.R.S.), p. 673. 


Chilton,' and his manor there was known as Chilton 
Luttrell. ^ He was a commissioner of array in i 347 
and 1359, and he was returned to Parliament as one 
of the knights of the shire of Devon in 1360 and 
1363. - The date of his death is not known. His 
relict Joan survived until 1378. ^ 

Andrew Luttrell, son of Sir John and Joan, estab- 
lished the fortunes of his family by his marriage with 
Elizabeth, relict of Sir John de Vere, son of the Earl 
of Oxford, a lady of the most illustrious lineage. Her 
father, Hugh, Earl of Devon, one of the companions 
in arms of Edward the Third, and one of the original 
Knights of the Garter, was head of the noble house 
of Courtenay. Her mother, Margaret, was daughter 
of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, 
Constable of England, " the flower of knighthood and 
the most Christian knight of the knights of the world," 
by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of King Edward the 
First. Her eldest brother was, like her father, an 
original Knight of the Garter ; a second brother be- 
came Archbishop of Canterbury; a third Lieutenant of 
Ireland, and a fourth Governor of Calais. Through 
her sisters, she was closely connected with the Lords 
Cobham and Harington. 

Lady Elizabeth Vere was a widow in 1350. On 
the occasion of her marriage to Andrew Luttrell, 
in the summer of 1359, Edward the Third gave 
them an annuity of 200/. for their lives, in aid of the 
maintenance of their social position. * In 1 361, Sir 
Andrew Luttrell and his wife went on pilgrimage to 

' OVi-ver's Monasticon Dioecesis Exon. i Ric. II. no. 22; 8 Ric. II. no. 26. 

p. 123 ; D.C.M. II. 9. Escheators' Enrolled Accounts (L. T. 

2 Return of Members of Parliament, R.) 3, m. 31 ; 5, m. 31 ; 8, m. 11; 9, 

vol. i. pp. 163, 172. m. 36. 

* There is some contradiction about ■• Patent Rolls, 24 Edw. Ill, part 2, 

the exact date. Inq. post mortem, m, 26; 33 Edw. III. m. 25. 


the famous shrine of Santiago de Compostella, with a 
retinue of twenty-four men and women and as many- 
horses. ^ The lady was for some time in the service 
of her cousins, Edward ' the Black Prince ' and the 
' Fair Maid of Kent, ' his wife. The annuity of 200/. 
was confirmed by Richard the Second in 1378, and 
renewed in favour of Lady Luttrell in 1381, her 
husband having died in the interval. ^ In the mean- 
while, Lady Luttrell had, with part of her savings, 
bought the reversion of the manors of Feltwell in 
Norfolk, and Moulton, Debenham and Waldingfield 
in Suffolk. ^ A charter of free warren therein was 
issued in her favour in 1373. * She also acquired the 
right of appointing two of the canons of the priory 
of Flitcham. ^ 

The most important pecuniary transaction of this 
Lady Luttrell was, however, her purchase of the 
reversion of the castle of Dunster, the manors of 
Kilton, Minehead and Carhampton and the hundred 
of Carhampton, of five thousand marks.^ As she pre- 
deceased the vendor, she never obtained actual posses- 
sion of this valuable property. Dying at Bermondsey 
on the 7th of August 1395, she was buried, by her 
own desire, in the Benedictine Church of St. Nicholas 
at Exeter. ^ Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, in 
August of that year, ordered public prayers to be 
offered throughout his diocese for the souls of Mar- 
garet Cobham and Elizabeth Luttrell, sisters of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and, by way of encourage- 
ment, promised an indulgence of forty days to the 
faithful who should pray for them. ^ 

1 Close Roll, 35 Edw. HI. m. 22. * D.C.M. xxxvii. 38. 

- Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1377- ^ Pp. 50, 52, 53. above. 

13S1, p. 170 ; 13S1-13S5, p. 15. ' Inq. post mortem, 19 Ric. II. nos. 

* D.C.M. XXXVII, 38-42. 47, 48 ; D.C.M. xxxvii. 42. 

* Charter Roll, 47 Edw. III. * Stafford's Register, vol. i. f. 46. 

78 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

Hugh Luttrell, son of Sir Andrew and Elizabeth, 
was born about 1364. By the successive deaths of 
his grandmother Dame Joan Luttrell in 1378, and 
of his elder brother John, soon afterwards, he became 
heir to the small paternal estate at Chilton in Devon- 
shire, but he did not obtain actual possession of it 
until 1385, when he was in the King's service 
abroad. ^ He was for a time an esquire in the house- 
hold of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. ^ At the 
beginning of 1390, he is mentioned as a knight 
having influence at Court, and, two months later, he 
took part in some jousts at St. Inglevert near Calais. ^ 
In consideration of his services, he received from 
Richard the Second, in 1391, a grant of an annuity 
of 20/. out of the confiscated English property of the 
priory of St. Nicholas at Angers. * Four years later, 
a further annuity of 40/. was granted to him, on his 
undertaking to remain with Richard the Second for 
life. ^ By the death of his mother, in 1395, he got a 
considerable accession of property. He was also 
given the reversion of the keepership of the forest of 
Gillingham and the constableship of the castle of 
Leeds in Kent. ^ In 1394 and again in 1399, he ac- 
companied his royal master and kinsman to Ireland. ^ 

The accession of the house of Lancaster proved no 
detriment to Sir Hugh Luttrell. Henry the Fourth, 
son of his old patron, had not been on the throne 
many weeks before he confirmed to him his annuities 
of 60/. and the forestership of Gillingham, and gave 

• Inq. post mortem, i Ric. II. no. 22; History of England, vol. ii. p. 91). 

8 Ric. II. no. 26. Escheators' En- * Calendar of Patent Rolls, 13SS- 

rolled Accounts, 7, m. 52 ; 8, mm. 11, 1392, p. 465. 

17 ; 9, m. 36. * Calendar of Patent Rolls, ijgi- 

^ Duchy of Lancaster, Miscellaneous 1396, p. 620. 

Books, no. 14, f. 6d. ^ Ibid. p. 422. 

3 Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1388- ^ Ibid. p. 476. 
1392, p. 181 ; Pichon (quoted in Wylie's 


him 5/. a year in lieu of the constableship of Leeds. 
The letters patent to this effect were, however, sur- 
rendered and cancelled in 1404, when the King 
remitted to him a sum of 482/. 8/. 11^. due to the 
Exchequer in respect of lands farmed by him in Kent. ^ 
Sir Hugh Luttrell was at Calais in 1400, in some 
capacity unspecified. ^ His receiver in the west of 
England sent 22 marks to him " by the hands of John 
Luttrell, son of Richard Lutrell, at his coming from 
Calec, at the feast of the Nativity of St. John in the 
fourth year," that is to say at Midsummer 1403.^ 
On the death of his cousin, Sir John Luttrell, K.B. 
in that year, he succeeded to the estate at East Quan- 
tockshead. His receiver paid " to Richard, rector 
of Cantokeshede, to pay to the executors of Sir John 
Lutrell for divers things bought for the use of my 
lord, 10/, 1 3 J. 4^. ", and also "to the same executors, 
by the hands of Richard Popham, by indenture, 
6 marks. " * Later in the same year. Sir Hugh was 
appointed one of the ambassadors to treat with the 
Commissioners of the King of France and afterwards 
with the Commissioners of the Duke of Burgundy. ^ 
Several of their official letters have been preserved, 
and in one of them he is specifically described as 
Lieutenant of Calais. ^ In the spring of 1 404, he was 
appointed Mayor of Bordeaux by royal authority, 
but his stay in Gascony cannot have been long, 
although no successor to him was appointed until 
March 1406.^ 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1399- 14, 7- 

1401, p. 142 ; Memoranda Roll, K.R. * Royal and Historical Letters (ed. 

5 Hen. IV. Hingeston), pp. 170, 177, 186, 188, 194, 

» Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1399- 197, 202, 204. 

1401, p. 271. ^ Proceedings of the Privy Council 

^ D.C.M. I. 14. (ed. Nicolas), vol. i. p. 223 ; Gascon 

4 Ibid. Rolls 3-5 Hen. IV. m. 2 ; 6 Hen. IV. 

« French Roll, 4 & 5 Hen. IV. mm. m. 5. 


Sir Hugh Luttrell was elected one of the knights 
of the shire for Somerset in the Parhament which was 
summoned to meet at Coventry on the 6th of October 
1404, and he was paid for forty-six days' personal 
attendance. ^ 

Two days before the meeting of that Parliament, 
Lady de Mohun died, and it is not likely that Sir 
Hugh Luttrell lost any time in putting forward his 
claim to the estate of which his mother had bought 
the reversion from her some twenty-eight years pre- 
viously. In the first instance, however, the escheator 
intervened on behalf of the Crown, and on the 17th 
of October, the King, anticipating complications, 
gave a temporary lease of the Mohun property to 
William Grene and John Lawrence, esquires, for a 
considerable rent. These lessees remained in occu- 
pation of Dunster until the 17th of February 1405, 
when Sir Hugh Luttrell presumably obtained posses- 
sion.^ He was certainly established there a few months 
later. His household accounts for that year supply 
various notices of his proceedings in Somerset and of 
his going to Wales to fight against Owen Glendower. 

July 3. " Paid by order of my lord for the expenses of 
a varlet of my lady the Countess of La Marche sent with her 
letters to my lord, as in his horse being in the town, 1 5^</. " 

July 8. " Paid by order of my lord for the expenses of 
the horses of the Earl of Pembroke riding towards the King, 
%od. " '' 

July 29. " In a pottle of wine because of the Archdeacon 
of Taunton, \d. " 

July 31. " Paid by order of my lord to William Godwyn 
for so much borrowed of him on the day on which the beasts 
on Exmore were brought together, 3J. \d. " 

1 Close Roll, 6 Hen. IV. m. 5^. ^ There was no Earl of Pembroke in 

- Placita de Banco, no. 584, mm. 339, 1405. The person so styled was probab- 
339<^- ly Reynold, Lord Grey of Ruthyn. 


August 25. " In the gift of my lord to a messenger of 
the King bringing to him his letters by which the King 
ordered him to hasten towards the parts of Wales, 35. 4^. 
Also on the same day, paid by order of my lord for the 
expenses of the horses of the Earl of Pembroke returning 
from the King and those of other strangers, 35. ^^d. " 

September 11, " In a cart twice carrying victuals from 
the castle to the haven towards my lord who was in Wales, 
6^. " " Also on the same day paid for six standards of my 
lord's arms delivered to divers ships of Minhede carrying 
victuals to my lord in the parts of Wales, 2s. " 

" Also paid in the expenses of my lord and his household 
riding towards the King who was at Leicestre and absent for 
four whole weeks, 4/. 155. 8^. Also paid to John Cotes at 
his lodging at Henyngham, my lord being there, as more 
fully appears in indentures made between my lord and him, 
4/. 13J. 4^. " 

September 12. " Paid to two armourers cleaning my 
lord's armour for fourteen days and a half, at 14^. a day, 
both for them and for a servant who waited on them (famulo 
eisdem servienti) for the same time, i6s. iid. 

October 2. " In bread and ale bought for certain seamen 
who were in the ship (batella) Howell sent to the parts of 
Wales to get news of my lord who was there in the retinue 
of the King, lid. " 

October 9. "In 88 wheaten loaves bought and sent to 
mv lord in the parts of Wales, every loaf at a halfpenny, 
3/. %d. " 

October 23. "In horse bread bought for the horses of 
my lord who was at Dunstre, 22^. " 

October 26. " Delivered to my lord going on pilgrimage 
to the Chapel of the Holy Trinity of Bircombe, i id. " 

The chapel thus mentioned may probably be identi- 
fied with a small ruin now known as ' Burgundy 
Chapel, ' standing a little above the sea in a secluded 
valley on the west side of Minehead, not far from 
Greenaleigh Farm. Sir Hugh Luttrell evidently held 


it in special honour, for, in several subsequent years, 
he gave considerable sums " to a chaplain celebrating 
in the chapel of Byrcombe " on his account. 

November 13. " To two armourers cleaning my lord's 
armour for eleven days, at 4^. a day apiece, yj. 4^. In fresh 
lard (sepo porci) for the same, qd. " 

" In the gift of my lady to Thomas Kynge riding towards 
Saunton as her messenger, ^d. 

" In the gift of my lord to John the charioteer (Charettier) 
bringing my lady from London to Dunsterre, 20;, and fDr 
certain expenses incurred and paid by him, as he stated, 1 5^." 

December 20. " In the gift of my lord, by his order, to 
two servants of the Prior of Dunsterre who presented to my 
lady twelve capons, two little bacon-pigs and four bushels of 
green peas, 1 6d. " (The mention of green peas at Christmas 
is interesting.) 

" For hose and shoes necessary to William Russel and 
Robert the keeper of the horses, because of the approach of 
Christmas, 20^. In paid for the fur of six gowns (togarum) 
of my lady and her daughters, against the same feast, 45. lod. " 

" Also, on the same day, in the gift of my lord to a varlet 
of John Clifton bringing two bucks from Gillingham, 20^. 
Also on Christmas Eve, in rushes bought to strew in the 
hall and the chambers, 6d. Also, on Christmas Day, in the 
offerings of the servants of the household distributed in the 
church, by order of my lord, is. '* 

December 26. " In the gift of my lord to three tenants 
of John Cobleston who played before him 3^. 4^. In the 
gift of the same to six tenants of Dunsterre who played 
before him, 3J. ^d. In the gift of the same to several children 
of Minhede who danced before him, 20^. 

December 27. " In wine bought and conveyed from 
Taunton on account of the feast held by my lord, 75. " 

1406. January 5. " In the gift of my lord to two servants 
of my lady of Pawlet who brought the carcase of an ox and 
a boar and a live ' grue,' and presented them to my lady, 6i. 
8^; and in the expenses of their horses that were in the town 
for a night, 1 7^. Also on the same day in the gift of my 
lord to a servant of William Godwyn who brought a boar 


and presented it to my lady against Christmas, lod. Also 
in the gift of my lord to the Clerks of St. Nicholas, i2d. " ^ 

The clerks of St. Nicholas were probably boys 
connected with the Priory of Dunster, of whom one 
styled the ' boy bishop ' was, by irreverent custom, 
allowed to perform certain religious functions in 
church between the feast of St. Nicholas and that of 
the Holy Innocents, in the month of December. ^ 

Amid the merriment of the first Christmas that 
Sir Hugh kept at his new home, he had cause for 
grave anxiety, his title to Dunster, Minehead, Car- 
hampton and Kilton being challenged by the coheirs 
of Sir John and Lady de Mohun. Edward, Duke of 
York and Philippa his wife, Elizabeth, Countess of 
Salisbury, and Richard, Lord Strange of Knockin, a 
formidable combination, had already begun legal pro- 
ceedings with a view to recovering the estates of which 
the reversion had been sold to Lady Luttrell. On the 
14th of May 1405, the King had appointed nine 
special commissioners, including the two Chief Justices 
and the Chief Baron of the Exchequer, to take an 
assize of novel disseisin in the matter. ^ 

The household accounts of Sir Hugh Luttrell con- 
tain several allusions to the suit : — 

1405. July 10. " For expenses incurried by my lord 
himself and strangers who came to him at Yevelchestre, 
because his adversaries intended on that day to have arrained 
the assize against him, 67;. iid. 

1406. January 3. " Paid for four quires of paper bought, 
IS. Paid for twelve skins of parchment on which to write 
the evidences of my lord, at Briggewater, 25. %d. In the 
expenses of John Bacwell about the writing of the said 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. times. Hone's Ancient Mysteries, Max- 

* For boy bishops see Brand's Poj)U- well Lyte's History of Eton College, etc. 

lar Antiquities, Warton's History of ^ Patent Roll, 6 Hen. IV. part 2, 

English Poetry, Strutt's Sports and Pas- m. 22d. 


evidences and other affairs of my lord, who was there for six 
days, 12;. " 

January 5. " In the expenses of my lord who came to 
Brigewater for certain causes touching his plea, 35. id. 
And in his gift to a lawyer, a kinsman of Richard Popham, 
6s. U. " 

In Easter term 1406, Sir Hugh Luttrell brought 
a subsidiary suit against Thomas, Prior of Christ 
Church, Canterbury, for the delivery of the sealed 
chest which Lady de Mohun had deposited in his 
charge two days before her death. He was opposed 
by the coheirs of Mohun, but, after full argument, 
the chest was opened in the Court of Common Pleas, 
and adjudicated to him, the contents being title deeds 
to property of which he was in actual possession. ^ 

Some weeks later, a novel arrangement was made 
for the determination of the main controversy. 

On the 19th June, the House of Commons sent 
up a petition praying that the suit concerning the 
castle and manor of Dunster, the manors of Mine- 
head, Kilton, and Carhampton, and the hundred of 
Carhampton, with their appurtenances, should be 
referred to the award and judgement of four lords of 
the realm and all the justices. To this the Duke of 
York, on behalf of himself and his parceners agreed, 
stipulating only that the lords selected and the justices 
should swear before the King in Parliament to settle 
the matter according to the laws of the realm before 
a certain day, without showing favour to either party. 
The plaintiffs accordingly nominated two laymen, the 
Lords Roos and Furnival, and the defendant nomin- 
ated the Bishops of Exeter and St David's. The ist 
of November was moreover fixed as the latest day for 
their decision. The Bishop of Exeter and the two lay 

• Placita de Banco, no. 581, m. 119. 


lords took the stipulated oaths on the spot, and Par- 
liamentary authority was given to the King's Council 
to receive the oaths of the other arbitrators during 
the recess then about to begin. Seven of the judges 
were sworn before the King and the Bishop of 
Durham, then Chancellor of England, at the house 
of the latter on the 3rd of July, William Gascoigne, 
the Chief Justice being absent. It was not, however, 
until the 22nd of October that the court was fully 
constituted, the Bishop of St David's then taking the 
oath, together with Laurence Drue who had been 
substituted for the Bishop of Exeter. The arguments 
seem to have been continued, by consent of the part- 
ies, beyond the date originally fixed for the decision, 
but without any result, no definite issue having been 
joined, and the parties being still " f ;^ travers. "^ 

At some unspecified date in November or Decem- 
ber, the Commons took up the matter again on behalf 
of Sir Hugh Luttrell, who sat among them as one of 
the members for Devonshire. Contrasting " the poor 
estate of the said Hugh " with " the great estates " of 
his adversaries, they prayed that the special assize 
should be repealed, unless concerned with evidence 
already produced, and that no fresh commission for a 
special assize should be issued. They further prayed 
that if a suit should be instituted for trial by the 
country in the normal manner, nobody should be 
put on the jury who had not 40/. a year in land, and 
they ended by observing that the estates in question 
were of great value and the parties powerful persons, 
so that " mischief and riot " might easily arise unless 
special precautions were taken. To this the King 
replied that the statute made should be observed, and 

' Rotuli Paliamentoruni, vol. iii. pp. 577, 578. 


that the Sheriff of Somerset should be sworn before 
the Council to empanel the most sufficient and im- 
partial persons in his bailiwick. ^ 

There is at Dunster Castle an original deposition 
made by Sir Baldwin Malet at Enmore on the 30th 
of December 1406, that he and other military tenants 
of the Honour of Dunster had duly recognised the 
conveyance made by Sir John and Lady de Mohun 
to the Bishop of London and other trustees. Attach- 
ed to it is an undated list of the principal men of 
Somerset, classified as " knights, " " esquires with 
100 marks at the least," and " esquires with 40/. at the 
least." Dots against the names of twelve persons of 
the second category suggest that they were to be 
empanelled as a jury. ^ Nevertheless it seems fairly 
clear that the case was heard at Ilchester, in Michael- 
mas term, by special commissioners, probably the 
whole judicial bench, as Markham and Hankford, 
who had not been nominated in the commission of 
the 14th of May 1405, took part in the proceedings. 
The two Chief Justices, the Chief Baron, and other 
judges were certainly present, and a long array of 
Serjeants and counsel. Robert Tirwhit conducted the 
case for the plaintiffs, and Robert Hill for the defend- 
ant. Some of their arguments have been reported at 
considerable length, dealing with highly technical 
points of law. For the present purpose it is sufficient 
to note that the plaintiffs disputed the validity in law 
of certain transactions subsequent to the entail of 
1346.^ The report ends abruptly with an adjourn- 
ment, and all that we know further about the matter 
is that Sir Hugh Luttrell remained in possession. 
Sir Hugh Luttrell was again returned as a knight 

' Roiiili Parliamentorum, vol. iii. * D.C.M. iv. 17. 

p. 597. * Year Book, Mich. 8 Hen. IV. no. 12, 


of the shire for Devon in 1407. ^ Three years later, 
when he was Steward of the Household of Queen 
Joan, he was appointed by her to the offices of 
constable of Bristol Castle and keeper of the forests 
of Kingswood and Fulwood for the term of her 
life. ^ In 1 41 4, he was returned to two Parliaments 
as member for Somerset. There are some entries 
about the constableship of Bristol in his accounts a 
few years later : — 

1420. " In the expenses of John, son of my lord, and 
William Godwyn travelling to London for the patents of 
my lord concerning Bristol, and for other business of my 
lord, in going and returning, for sixteen days, in all 40J. " 

" Paid to the clerk of the Pipe for searching the evidences 
and record of the receipts of the Constable of Bristol and of 
the dues coming to him, 35. /\.d. " 

1 42 1. " Of 20/. received from William Godewyn of my 
lord's fee from the castle of Bristol. " 

Soon after the outbreak of the war with France, 
Sir Hugh Luttrell seems to have been sent over to 
Normandy as one of the councillors of the Governor 
of Harfleur. ^ The following entry occurs in the roll 
of his accounts for the year ending at Michaelmas 
1416 : — 

" In the expenses of Thomas Hody and John Bacwell 
with three servants and six horses from Hampton to Dunster, 

Hody was the receiver-general, and Bacwell the 
domestic chaplain. In the absence of their employer, 
they lodged at Dunster Castle for some weeks. The 
only member of the family who is definitely stated 
to have been there at this time was William Luttrell, 

* Return of Members of Parliament, ^ Hall's Union of the families of 

vol. i. p. 271. Lancaster and York. 

2 Patent Roll, 14 Hen. IV. m. 22. ^ D.C.M. i. 16. 


Sir Hugh's son, and he stayed only two weeks. His 
groom and the groom of his brother John were there 
for five weeks apiece. 

In February 141 7, Sir Hugh Luttrell undertook, 
for a sum of 286/. to serve the King in the French 
war for a year, with one knight, nineteen esquires, 
and sixty archers. ^ The muster of his company, 
taken before embarkation a few months later, shows 
that he had serving under him Sir Geoffrey Luttrell 
of Irnham, the head of his family, John Luttrell, his 
own son, William Godwyn, his son-in-law, and six- 
teen other esquires, forty-two mounted archers and 
twenty-five archers on foot. ' None of the number 
were military tenants of the Honour of Dunster. 
The following entries occur in the accounts kept at 
Dunster : — 

141 7. "Paid to three Breton prisoners going into Brit- 
tany for their ransoms and those of their fellows, for their 
expenses, loj. " 

" In the expenses of a French friar for six weeks, at lod. 
2l week, lOJ. Also of six Bretons and a page, captives, of 
whom three for thirteen weeks at \Qd. a week, and three 
for four weeks, and the page for ten weeks, 50J. \od. Also 
of a man of Portugal for seven weeks, 8j. id. Of another 
from Portugal for two weeks, is. \d. 

" For the expenses of my lord travelling to the sea, on 
the 8th of July, 7/. lis. \d. " 

" In the passage of my lord, paid for meat taken for my 
lord's hawk and expenses up to the same time, 16^." * 

In the same year there is the following detailed 
account : — 

" The barge called the Leonard of Dounstere. 

The account of Philip Clopton, master of the barge of the 

I D.C.M. I. t6. * Accounts, Exchequer. K.R., bundle 

» Vincent MS. { Heralds' College ) 51, no. 2. 
29, f. 55. '' D.C.M. I. 16. 


noble lord, Sir Hugh Lutrell, knight, lord of Dounstere, as 
for a voyage made by her from the port of Mynhede to 
Bordeaux and back in the fifth year of the reign of King 
Henry the Fifth. The same answers for 42/. los. received 
for the freight of the wine of divers merchants for the 
aforesaid voyage. 

" In paid for food, drink, planks, nails, wages of workmen, 
and other necessaries bought, and expenses, as in the repair 
of the said barge, in part by the survey of the reeve of 
Minhede, as appears by a shedule.... 4/. loj. lo^^'. And in 
6 pieces of *tielde' bought for the covering of the ship, 13J. 
4<^. In 2 rolls of * oleyn ' bought for repairing the sail 42J. 
In old anchors repaired, 6s. %d. In * canevas ' bought for 
repairing the aforesaid sail, yj. In empty pipes and ' barelles ' 
bought for placing flour in, together with grease bought for 
rubbing the same barge, i \s. In 7 broad planks bought for 
' alcassyng ' of the same, 6j. %d. In 5 live oxen bought at 
lis. apiece, deducting 55. for hides sold, ^^s. In 2 pipes of 
ale and other * barelles ' bought, 365. " 

Other similar entries follow, the total gross cost of 
the voyage amounting to 42/. 3/. \d. 

In 1 41 8 and 141 9, Sir Hugh Luttrell was lieuten- 
ant of Harfleur. He had authority also to treat with 
the captains of different Norman towns that were 
willing to capitulate to the English. ^ The following 
entries occur in his accounts : — 

141 8. "In cleaning my lord's baselard and knife, \\d. " 

" In the expenses of my lady being there (at Dunster) 
partly at the end of June and partly in the month of July, 
for five weeks in all, as appears by a paper exhibited at the 
account, 335. 5/^." 

" In divers victuals bought for my lord and sent to him 
at Harflete by the hands of Richard Arnolde, in money 
delivered to the same Richard upon a tally, 104/. \'}^\d. " 

" In a pipe of wine bought for the use of my lady and her 
mother by my lord's order, as of his gift, 495. \d. " 

' Norman Roll, 6 Hen. V. part i. 7 Hen. V. part i. mm. 81, 79, 23^. 
mm. 15^, 13d, \od ; part 2, mm. 41, 9 ; 



"In the expenses.... of two prisoners {prissonariorum), 
each at lod. a week for twelve weeks, los. ; of one prisoner 
{incarcerati) at lo^., for nineteen weeks, 155. lod. '* 

The receiver-general was on the other hand charged 
with 46J. 8^. " received from John Rede, pledge for 
William Perderiall, a Breton, in part payment of his 
ransom [Jinancie sue).'" 

1419. "In 25 quarters of beans bought and sent to 
Arflue, as is contained in a letter of my lord dated the 23rd 
day of January this year, at 3^^. the bushel, 585. ^d. In a 
pipe of salmon bought and sent thither, 4/. " 

"In 5 quarters, 2 bushels, of beans bought and sent 
thither, at i,^d. the bushel, lis. i^d. In 47 quarters, 4 bush- 
els of oats bought and sent thither, at is. ^d. the quarter, 
iioj. lod. In I quarter, 6 bushels of green peas bought 
and sent thither at lid, 14.S. " 

" In 4 casks of * allec ' (i.e, herrings) bought and sent 
thither, 60s. " 

" In paid for the freight of 25 quarters of beans, i pipe 
of salmon, i pipe of * skalpyn, ' i pipe of green peas, to 
Arflue, 6p. In 13J dozens of Meynges * and * melewell ' 
bought, at 35. the dozen, 40J. 6d. In carrying the same 
from Mynheade to Dunster and thence to Hampton, 465. 2d. 
In 100 * hakys ' bought and sent to my lord at Arflue, 30J." 

" In expenses incurred in the household of my lord there 
(at Dunster) from Sunday next before the feast of All 
Saints in the sixth year of King Henry the Fifth (14 18) 
until the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary next follow- 
ing (August 141 9), that is for forty-one weeks, three days, 
and then my lord was at home... 14/. 35. 6d. " 

1420. " In the expenses of Richard Arnold travelling 
from Hampton to Dunster and taking with him two horses 
of my lord, 5J. " 

" In carrying to Dunster certain things of my lord that 
were at Mynheade having come from Arflue in charge ot 
Roger Kyng, 3^. " 

" Paid to Roger Kyng, * shipman ', for carrying divers 
victuals of my lord from Pole to Harfleu this year, 11/. " 

" In the expenses of my lord coming from Hampton on 


Thursday next before Christmas (141 9) and being at Dun- 
ster for a certain time and then travelHng to Saunton, all 
reckoned by William Person, 12s. ii^d. In the expenses 
of the same lord at his next coming from Saunton to Dunster 
and being there for a certain time at the Priory, 6s. \d. " 

" In the expenses of my lord who was at Domerham, 
Hampton, and Portysmouth, as appears by a bill under the 
signet of my lord dated the loth day of February in this 
the seventh year of King Henry the Fifth, 64/. 8j. In 
paid to the reeve of Domerham for the expenses of my 
lord who was there, as appears in a bill under the signet of 
my lord, ^^s. %d. In certam victuals bought by Robert 
Ponyngys, knight, for the use of my lord and sent to 
Arflu, as appears by an indenture dated the 7th day of 
April in the eighth year, under the signet of my lord and 
the signet of the aforesaid Robert, 10/. 4J. In twelve 
dozens ' myllewell ' and ' leyngys ' bought, and sent to 
Arflu at the request of my lord, at Mynheade ; and they 
were sent by Roger Kyng, by indenture, 36J. In twelve 
* coungerys ' bought and sent thither by the same Roger, 8j." 

" This beth the parcell, of the costages that beth makid by 
Williham Godewyn and Richard Arnolde of Bruton aboghte 
diverse vitailles the wheche the forsaide Richard hath delyver- 
ed to Rogger Kyng of Mynheade, shipman, at the havin of 
Pole, to the use and the profitez of my lorde. Sir Hugh 
Lutrell, as hit is specyfyed in endenters bytwixt hem ther 
of maked ; Forst, in 18 quarteres of whete boght by 
Godewyn, pris the bushelez, lod^ 61. Item in 23 quarteres, 
2 bushelez, whete, pris the bushelez, %d. summa, 61. 45. 
Item paied for cariage of the same from the contre to the 
ship 5 J.... Item in 10 quarteres of barly malt boght by 
Godewyn, pris the bushelez lod^ 66s. Sd. Item in 54 quar- 
teres of barly malt, pris the bushelez 9^, 1 61. ^s. Item in 
6 bobus (oxen) pris of 103J. In 30 motons pris of 45J. 
Item in 2 quarteres 3 bushelez salt for the same flessh, js. 
6d. Item in 3 pipes for the same flessh, i hoiggeshede for 
otemele and i barell for candelles, pris in al 45. Item in 6 
bushelez of otemele, price the bushelez i6<^, 85. Item in 
9 dosyn pondez of candelles, lOi. 6d. In reward of the 
lardyner for syltyng (i.e. salting) and dyghtyng (i.e. dressing) 

92 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

of al the flessh, lod In i quarter 3 bushelez of cole, pris 

the bushelez 3^^, 3;. 3<^. In i pipe for the same, lod. Item 
payed for beryng of whete from the house of W. Waryner 
into the ship, i6d. Item in mattys and nailles boght for to 
make a caban in the ship for savying of the corne and of 
the malt, 35. ']d. Item in caryng of 13 dosyns of fyssh from 

Dunsterre to the Pole 125 This was write at Pole in 

Ingelonde the 20 day of July the 8 yere of the reignyng 
of Henry oure Kyng the 5th. " 

" In a pipe of ale bought for my lord, 6d. In carrying 
divers victuals, that is to say flesh, flour, oats, candles and 
divers other victuals from Sheftysbery to Pole, lOJ. In carry- 
ing the fish of my lord from Mynheade to Dunsterre 4*^. " 

" In dehvered to my lady, by appointment of my lord, by 
tally, 13/. 6s. %d. In paid the same lady, of my lord's loan, 
to give to my lady's workmen of Saunton, by appoint- 
ment of the same, 6j. %d. In delivered to the same lady for 
wine bought for her use and that of my lady her mother, 
against a payment made by my lord for the same, 6j. %d. " 

Attached to the roll of accounts from Michaelmas 
1420 to Michaelmas 1421 there is the following 
letter : — 

"Dere frende, y charge yow that ye take litill Will oure 
servant 20J. for his fee of the last yer, and yif hit so be 
that he compleine to yow of his monoie that y take him be 
spendid in my servise, that ye take him whanne he depart- 
ith fro yow to come to me resonable despenses ; and this 
cedule signed wyth my signet sail be yowr warant. And in 
al manere wyse thenkyth on my stuf of fich ageyns Lentin. 
Writ at Harfleu the xviijt daie of Octobre. 

Hugh Lutrell, knight, lord of Dunsterre 
and senescall of Normandie. 

Unto Richard Arnold, oure resseviour at Dunsterre." ^ 

The accounts contain the following entries : — 
" In paid to William called Lytelwille, my lord's servant, 

' A facsimile of another letter from at Dunster, is given in the Archceo- 
Sir Hugh Luttrell to John Luttrell, his logical Journal, yo\. xxvii, p. 53. 
son, and Richard Arnold, his receiver, 


for his expenses at Pole and elsewhere on my lord's affairs, 
this year in the month of December, lOJ. " 

" In 54 quarters of wheat bought at Blaneforde and 
Wymborne, the price of a bushel 10^., 1 8/. Also in 5 quart- 
ers of wheat bought at Ruysshton, the price of a bushel 
8<^., 26s. %d. Also in 51 quarters of oats bought at Blanford, 
Wymborne and Ruysshton, the price of a bushel ^d.^ 61. iGs. 
Also paid to William Warnere for a house hired from him, 
in which to place my lord's corn, at Pole, 6s. %d. In the 
expenses of Richard Arnold travelling in divers places, as 
appears above, for buying the aforesaid corn, loj. In planks, 
nails, * mattis ' and straw bought for making a granary in 
the ship in which to place and keep the said corn, 4^. In 
the carriage of the said grain i^d. Also in paid to Gervase 
Knyte of Pole, ' shipman, ' for carrying all the aforesaid 
corn to Harefleu for the use of my lord, 61. " 

" Also in salmon y. In 61 ' mullewell ' and * lynggys, ' 
3 1 J. ()d. In 64 *hakys' lis. %d. In 49 couples of ' pul- 
lockes ' 5J., bought and sent to my lord at Harefleu ; the 
total for purchase 51J. ^d. In carrying the said fish from 
Mynheade to Hampton 14J. In a * sarpler ' (i.e. piece of 
canvas) bought in which to wrap up the said fish, 6d. In 
' maylyngcordes ' bought for the same ^d. " 

** Also in a pipe of wine for my lady, who was at Saunton, 
bought of Roger Kyng of Mynheade, for the household of 
my lady, this year, 46J. ^d. " 

" Paid to George, my lord's chaplain at Gyllyngham, for 
the expenses of my lord there on his return from London, i ^d." 

In this year there is an interesting inventory of 
Sir Hugh Luttrell's plate and ornaments : — 

" In primis, a coppe with a park. ^ 

A coppe with a sterr. 

A coppe withoute pomel. 

A coppe with a perle in the pomell. 

A coppe with an egle ygylt in the pomell. 

2 coppis with eglis of silvyr in the pomell. 

3 hie coppis with the coverclis. 

' A stag within a park paling seems Archceologia, vol. xxix. p. 387. See 
to have been one of the badges of also Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1408- 
Richard the second. See the plate in 1413, p. 147. 

94 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

2 coppis with 2 okurlis (i.e. oak orles, or wreaths) of silvyr 
in the pomell. 

2 flatte pecis with coverclis. 
A vat ycoveryd. 

An hie coppe ycoveryd with fetheris yplomyd (the crest 
of Courtenay and Luttrell). 
A coppe ynamyd Bath. 
A coppe ynamyd Courtenay. 
6 flatte pecis withoute coverclis. 
A note (i.e. nut). 
A spice dissch. 

3 eweris. 

2 sponis. 

And all this ygylt. 

A peyr doble baceynys. 

3 sengle bacynys with 3 eweris therto. 
A galon potte. 

2 potell pottis. 

4 quart pottis. 

An ewer with 10 coppis withynne hym and 3 coverclis. 
A round coppe ycoveryd and 8 withynne hym. 

3 grete pecis ycoveryd, and 17 rounde coppis and a 
tastour and an ewer for water. 

A.... spone and a verke (i.e. fork) fore grene gyngyver and 
15 flatte pecis and 3 coverlis. 

4 chargeris. 

2 doseyn disschis and 23 sauceris. 

23 sponis of on sort and 17 sponis of a lasse sort and 
3 grete saucerys with 2 coverclis, and 5 flatte saleris (i.e. salt- 
cellars) and an ymage of Synd Jon of silver and gylt, and an 
home ygylt, and 4 candelstikkis of silver. 
Item por le Chapell — 

In primis, a litil chaleis ygylt. 

A paxbred ygylt. 

2 cruetis of silver. 

A corperas. 

A peir of vestymentis. 

2 towelles. 

A lytil masboke. 

2 parelles for the auter and a superaltar. 


" Of the whiche somme above saide my lord hathe with 
hym to Harflu 2 chargeris, 12 disschis, 12 sauceris of 
silver, 2 coppis and a ewer ygylt, an hie coppe and 8 with- 
ynne, a gret flat pece with a covercle, 7 flatte peces and on 
covercle, a basyn and an ewer, 1 1 sponis, 2 salers with a 
covercle and the chapell hole, 2 quart pottys, and an hie coppe 
with a covercle ygylt, and 6 littel sponys, and 2 candelstykys 
of sylver. " ^ 

Part of this plate had come to Sir Hugh Luttrell 
from his grandmother, the Countess of Devon, and 
part perhaps from his uncle WiUiam Courtenay, 
Archbishop of Canterbury. ^ In 141 5, he himself had 
paid no less than 54/. to the executors of the v^ill of 
Sir Ivo Fitzwaryn for certain silver vases. 

The exact date of Sir Hugh Luttrell's final return 
to England is not knov^n. Richard Wydevill, how- 
ever, occurs as Seneschal of Normandy in July 1422. 
The last few years of Sir Hugh's life were spent in 
retirement, probably in consequence of failing health. 
Some further extracts from his accounts may not be 
out of place here, in illustration of the history of 
prices. The roll of expenses of John Bacwell, steward 
of the household, for the year ending at Midsummer 
1406, is especially interesting as recording all pur- 
chases day by day. There being at that time prac- 
tically no home farm at Dunster, all provisons had to 
be bought, except venison, game, fruit and vegetables. 
According to the custom of the manor of Minehead 
maintained until our own time, the lord had the right 
to buy fish there at wholesale price: — 

1405, June 28 "In 14 fowls (pullis), 16^." 
July I. "In 4 gallons (lagenis) of milk, 4^. In butter, 7^." 
July 2." In two quarters of a calf bought, lod. In divers 
spices, id. In 12 ' congrcs ' 4J. of the custom of the 

' D.C.M. I. 16. Antiquities of Canterbury, Appendix, 

* P.C.C. Rouse, f, 15 ; Somner's p. 33. 

96 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

manor of Minhede. In 12 ' milwelles', 3J. of the same 

custom. " 

July 15. " In two quarters of wheat (frumend) bought, at 

6j. %d. the quarter, 135. 4^. " 

July 1 7. " In ' turbut, ' 5^; In a milwell, 6^; in an eel, 3-^; 

in ' bremis ' and other fresh fish bought, i\d\ in 2 bushels 

of salt, IS. A^d \ in 3 pottles of mustard, 7|-^. " 
July 19. "In * saffron, ' y. " 
July 26. " In a kid {capriold) %d. " 
August 2. " In 3 ' maulardes, ' dd. " 
August 7. "In 100 herrings (allec)^ i6d.'" 
August 9. " In 2 little pigs (porcellis) bought, I2d. " 
August 16. "In 4 geese bought, lod." 
August 28. " In 2 ' raies ' bought at Minhede, 6d. " 
September 3. "In a quarter of a mutton bought, hd. " 
September 6. " In 8 dozen geese bought in Alliremore by 

Henry Baker, 22i. " 

September 30. " In a salmon, "jd. " 

October 2. "In white herrings (allec albis), i']d. " 

October 11. "In powder of ginger and of pepper, 4^. " 

October 21. " In a * haque ' bought, 5^. " 

October 22. " In 3 'wodecokes ' bought, 3^." 

October 23. " In 2 salmon bought at Le Merssh i2d. In 

15 live pigs bought wholesale (ingrossoj, 425., of which 6 were 

sold for 20i. 4.d. and 9 became bacon. " 
October 28. " In 200 oysters, 6d. " 
November 13. " In 2 oxen bought wholesale for the 

household, 23J. %d. " 

November 25. " In 25 live muttons bought in Wales, i is." 
December i i."In 10 se2L-dogs (canihus marims)houghtyiod." 
December 18. "In a 'gournard' bought, 2<^. In honey 

bought, ^d. In 12/^. of * almondes * bought, 3J. In 12/^. of 

* dates ' bought, 35. " 

1406. January 14. "In a * corlue ' bought, 3 <^. In 3 

* maulardes ' bought, <)d. " 

February 1 2."In 1 30 'haques' bought at Bristuyt, the haque 
at 2^d.a.nd 120 for 100, 315. 3^. In 500 ' scalpines ' bought 
at 25. 6d. the hundred, 1 2s. 6d. In 1 5 gallons of olive oil, at 
1 2d. the gallon, 1 55. In 2 measures {copulis) of figs and 
raisins, 12s. " 


February 21. "In a goat bought, 6d. In a ^teel' bought, id.'' 

March 7. "In fresh * melet ' bought, id. " 

March 10. "In mussels (musculis) hought, id.'' 

May 14. "In 140 eggs bought, ^jd. " 

1405. July 10. " In the gift of my lord to divers fishermen 
of La Marssh who presented to him * melet ' and other 
fish, I2d " 

August 24. " In the gift of my lord to a fisherman who 
presented to him a * porpes, ' i2d. " ^ 

1420. "In 3 bushels of oats bought for the sustenance 
of my lord's swans, lo^d. " 

" In a man hired to carry fish from the Master of Brugge- 
water to my lord's stew at Dunster, y. 9^. To a certain 
servant of the rector of Aller, likewise carrying fish, of my 
lord's gift, 2od. " 

1417. " To Philip the carpenter and his fellow for cutting 
stakes (paludes) for enclosing the stews {stagnis) in the 
Hanger (park), in part payment, i 8j. ^d. " ^ 

1423. " 4J. paid for the carriage of live fish from Wol- 
lavyngton to Mynheade, to stock my lord's stew (vivario)." ^ 

14.06. "Five gallons of white wine bought at Brigewater 
to fill up a pipe of wine somewhat diminished, 3J. 4J. " * 

14 1 7. " Two pipes of wine from Gascony bought for the 
use of my lord, 4/. 13J. 4^., also in the carriage of the same 
wine to the Castle, §d. " ^ 

1426. " In 25 gallons of red wine, 18 gallons of wine 

called * bastard ' with the carriage and costs of the 

same, 25^. yd. In a pipe of wine of the * Rein.' " ^ 

Beer cost i^d. per gallon from Midsummer to Mich- 
aelmas, lid. from Michaelmas to Christmas, and id. 
from Christmas to Midsummer ; and thirteen gallons 
were reckoned as twelve. At these prices the bill for a 
twelvemonth ending in June 1406, came 1034/. is.z^d. 

1405. July 3. "In 8 quarters of oats bought forthe provend- 
er of the horses of my lord and his servants, at iSda. quarter, 
los. %d. In hay bought for the same horses, 2j. " 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. * D.C.M. I. 16. 

» D.C.M. I. 16. * D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. 

» D.C.M. XXXI. 8. « D.C.M. xxxvii. lo. 

98 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

October 9. " For a pad (panello) for the saddle of a horse of 
the carnage of the household, \od. " 

October 14. "In fresh grease bought for the feet of my 
lord's horses, id. " 

October 14. " In 4 halters bought for the horses of the 
chariot {chariette)^ id. " 

1406. June II. "In the shoeing of the horses of the 
carriage and of other servants of the household, both at 
Wachet and at Pottesham, my lord's horses being at Cantok, 
4J. id. " ' 

14 1 2. " To John Slugge, for a horse bought of him by my 
lord, 4/. " ' 

1416. "In the cost of a groom travelling from Dunster to 
Taunton three times for the cure of a horse of my lord 
there sick, 1 5 J<^. 

" To Robert Hylwen, a groom of my lord, for his expenses 
with two other grooms, and for seven horses of my lord 
from Dunster to London, 13J. 4<^. " 

"In 17 horse-shoes bought, to be put on my lord's horses, 
25. lod. In 14 * revets ' for the same ']d. " 

"In a * sadel housse ' bought for my lord's saddle and 
other necessaries bought for other saddles and horses, 35. " 

" To John Hunte, master of my lord's chariots {curruum) 
for his expenses with regard to my lord's horses and 
chariots, by a tally of which the counterfoil is not produced, 
61. 135.4^." 

141 7. " In the provender of the horses of my lord and 
my lady for three weeks, 1 95. ^d. " 

" After the departure of my lord, in 2 halters bought for 
my lord's horses going out of Mersswode and placed in 
ward, id. Also in ointment bought for their feet, id. In 
a * horscombe ' bought 3^. " 

" In ' canevass ' for the pads {j>anellis) of the saddles and 
collars, 35. \\d. Also in 9 double girths {cinguUs) for my 
lord's horses, i dd. Also in the woodwork (Jignis) of 7 saddles 
for the carriage, is. loa. Also in lolb. * flokkis ' for the 
stuffing of the same, 18^. Also in cords called ' teugropis ' 
{i.e. traces), %d. Also in divers cords bought for my lord's 

1 D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. ' D.C.M. i. 14. 


chariot, 14^. Also in cords for the whip, id. Also in 
cords for driving (regendis) the horses of the chariot, id. 
Also in 2 pair of * steroppis ' for the saddles of the carriage 
and 7 * polys ' and 3 * reynes ' and 8 ' contre single boucles ' 
for the aforesaid saddles of the carriage, 45. Also in * tak- 
kys ' and nails {clavis) for the chariot, is. ^d. " 

" Also in the repair of two * ronges ' for the chariot, 2d. 
Also in * teughookys, ' 7^. Also in 7 * teugys, ' iid. Also 
in 7 pads {panelles) for 7 * semesadils, ' at 8^. apiece 3^. 4^. 
Also in a * strake ' {i.e. rim) and * dowlys ' for the wheels of 
the chariot weighing i2lb. of iron, i6d. Also in ' vertgrese ' 
for a horse of my lord that was sick, ^d. Also in white 
wine for the same, id. " 

142 1. "To John Taunton, keeper of my lord's horses, 
for oats and horse-bread {pane equina) bought for my lord's 
horses before the feast of St. Denys in the ninth year, 17J. 

<)¥■ " 

1409. "To Thomas Skynner for the rent of a house in 
le Bailly in which to put my lord's dogs, 3^. ^fd. " 

1417. "In expenses incurred in taking four couples ot 
coneys and birds {yolucrum) sent to John Merchaunt of 
Taunton at the purification of his wife, 2d. " ^ 

1405. October. 29. " In fresh mutton and beef for my 
lord's ' hawkes, ' i 'jd. In 4 chickens bought for the same, 6d. " 

1405. July 17. " In fur and thread for repairing my 
lord's gown {togd)y 6d. " 

October 12. "In linen cloth and thread for two pair of my 
lord's hose, 12^. " 

" For the repair of my lord's wallets {besagiorum), 2d. '* 

1406. February 11. "In two ' slipes ' of linen thread 
bought by my lady, 35. 6d. And in the weaving {textura) 
of the same, /\.d. " 

April 10. " In two yards of linen cloth and thread bought 
by the hands of Michael Strecche for my lord's * doub- 
lettes,' 18^."' 

1420. "In a pair of gloves bought for my lord, 6d. " 

1 42 1. "To Laurence Taillor of London for making two 

» D.C.M. I. 16. » D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. 

loo A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 
gowns {juparum) of my lord of * felewet, ' {i.e, velvet), 1 3;. 

1405. July 17. " In shoes, hose, shirts, and breeches 
{braccis) delivered to William Russell, my lord's * henxteman ' 
{i,e. page), lod. " 

August 25. " For the making of two *dowbletes' for Wil- 
liam Russel and Robert the keeper of my lord's horses, 
together with breeches and spurs bought for them by the 
hands of John Hunt, 2s. 6d. " 

September 1 1. "In shoes for the groom of the bakery, 4^." 

October 12. " To Hugh Taillor for shirts and hose bought 
by him for three grooms of the stable, i jd. " 

October 26. " Delivered to John Hunte, my lord's cham- 
berlain, for buying spices and other things necessary for 
the grooms of the stable, by his order, i6d. " 

1406. April 10. " For hose, shoes, shirts and breeches 
necessary and bought for the grooms of the bakery, the 
kitchen, and the stable, 3J. Sd. " 

142 1. "In 4 yards of russet cloth bought and delivered to 
Thomas Pury, reeve of Estkantok, at 1 8^. the yard, 6s. " 

The number of retainers living at Dunster Castle 
seems to have varied from time to time. When 
Sir Hugh Luttrell first took up his abode there, he 
had a stev^ard of the household at 5/. a year, a cham- 
berlain at i/. 6s. 8^., a cook at i/. 13/. 4^/., and fifteen 
other men who received wages ranging from i 3/, 4^/., 
up to 2/. Lady Luttrell had a damsel in attendance 
on her, and there was one laundress for the whole 
establishment at 6s. Sd. A constable of the Castle 
is frequently mentioned, but he seems to have lived 
in the town. Year after year. Sir Hugh Luttrell 
made an allowance to Dan John Buryton, one of the 
monks of Dunster, possibly in connexion with masses 
celebrated in St. Stephen's Chapel or in the Priory 
Church. The following payments are recorded in 
1406: — 


June I. " For the expenses of the horses of Sir Hugh 
Courtenay of Baunton and Sir Hugh son of the Earl (of 
Devon), for two nights and a day, and in the expenses of 
their varlet sent before them with * veneison, ' 4J. 9^. " 

June 7. " Paid to William Brit sent from London and 
returning to London, for his expenses in returning, ioj. " 

Lady Elizabeth Harington stayed at the Castle for 
some months in 1424 with her retinue, and paid 
handsomely for board. In the same year, Margaret 
Luttrell, Sir Hugh's daughter-in-law, paid ^s. for 
herself and her gentlewoman for one week. Master 
John Odeland and John Scolemaystre, who were there 
on business for eighteen weeks and ten weeks respec- 
tively, got their meals free. 

In 1 42 1 , Sir Hugh paid 5/. to a steward of his lands, 
3/. to a receiver general, i/. 6s. 8^. to an auditor of 
accounts, and i/. apiece to an attorney and a clerk, 
but it is not likely that all these professional persons 
resided constantly at Dunster. The following pay- 
ments are recorded in the accounts : — 

1406. February 12. " In three dozen of ' countours ' 
bought for the exchequer (scaccario)^ 9^. " ^ 

142 1. " In a bag bought to hold the roll of accounts 3^. " 

1423. "In certain red (sanguinio) and green cloth bought 
for the livery of the staff (familie) of my lord's household 
this year, . . 4/. 1 55. 4^. " 

1424. " In five dozens of blue f<^/(9^/VJ cloth bought at 
Benehangre for the livery of the staff of my lord's house- 
hold this year, with the expenses of carrying the purchases, 
1 03 J. 4^. In five pairs of embroidered wallets (mantkarum 
braud ) for my lord's five gentlemen for their livery . . i6s. 
And in seven pairs of embroidered wallets for my lord's 
yeomen (valentis) for their livery . . i^s. And in two 
embroidered wallets for two grooms, this year, for their 
livery . . is. id. " ^ 

» D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. » D.C.M. XXXVII. 10. 


1426. " In green and red (rubeo) cloth, that is to say for 
sixty-six yards of each colour, bought for the livery of four 
gentlemen, eleven yeomen (valettorum) and four grooms 
(garcionum) who were in the household . . j/. lis. 6^d. 
including the expenses and carriage of the same. " ^ 

1405. November 6. " In an earthen pot in which to put 
white salt, i^d. " 

November 20. "In a piece of sackcloth of which were made 
5 sacks in the bakery, price y. %d. " 

December 1 6. " In 3 bowls (bollis) bought for the kitchen. 
lod. In 2 cups (ciphis) bought for the buttery, iid. " 

December 18. "In four dozens of tin vases (vasorum stan- 
neorum) bought at Brigewater, 72J. In the expenses of a 
man bringing the said vases to Dunster, 7^. In 6 ells 
(ulnis) of * cannevas ' bought for the kitchen, 2s. 6d. " 

1406. January 22. " In 4 wooden trenchers (discis) bought 
for the kitchen, 4^. " 

February 4. " In a wooden pot (olla) for the pantry, id. " 

March 10. " In 4 wooden * tancardes * bought to spare the 
pots (ollis) made of leather, 12^. " 

January 5. " In a needle and * pakthreed * for sewing the 
sacks of the bakery, id. " 

February 1 1 . "To John Corbet, smith, for a * wexpan,' two 
* wexirens, ' a * wexknyfe, ' an ' iren rake, ' a * pikeys, ' 
a * matok, ' thirty-six * hoques ' for hanging bacon in the 
kitchen, etc. 6s. %d. " 

1405. July 17. " In lib. of wax for making candles in the 
chapel, "id. " 

August 21. "In iilb. of Paris candles, 2s. " 

November 20. "In a bundle of * macchernes ' (/.f. wicks) 
for making Paris candles, 35. ^d. " 

December 18. "In 1 1 J 'ronnes' of wick thread (fililkhenn) 
bought for torches, 6s. id. In the costs of a man bringing 
the same (etc.) from Brigewater to Dunster, is. id. " * 

Sir Hugh Luttrell died on the 24th of March 1428, 
aged about sixty-four. ' The foUov^ing entries occur 
in the accounts for that year : — 

1 D.C.M. I. 16. ' Inq. post mortem, 6 32. 

» D.C.M. xxxvn. 7. 


" Paid to John Bien of Shaftesbury by the hands of 
William Godewyn for spices bought of him for the burial of 
the said Hugh, 19 August, 44J. id. " 

" To Thomas Wylhams for white cloth bought of him at 
the burial of the said Hugh, 6/. 45. Also paid to John 
Slug for providing oats against the burial of the said Hugh, 
1 1 J. Also paid to William Stone for white and black 
cloth bought of him, together with the making of sixteen 
gowns (juparum) and the like number of capes (capicium) for 
sixteen poor people at the time of the burial of the said 
Hugh, 74i. " 

Two years later, there is the following entry : — 

" Paid to Sir Robert Kent, chaplain, by order of my lord, 
to distribute among the chaplains who here on the day of 
the anniversary of Hugh Lutrell, knight, on the last day of 
March, is. 9^. " 

In 1432, we find : — 

" Paid to William Stone of Dunster for six gallons, one 
pottle and one pint of white wine bought of him on the day 
of the anniversary of Sir Hugh Luttrell, knight, by order 
of my lady, paying 6d a gallon, y. ^d. " ^ 

A monument in memory of Sir Hugh Luttrell and 
his wife seems to have been erected, or commenced, 
on the north side of the chancel of Dunster church. 
Both their effigies, made of alabaster and relieved 
with gold, have been sadly mutilated in the course 
of centuries, and it is very doubtful whether they 
occupy their original position. They now lie under 
a canopy carved in stone in an arched opening 
between the chancel and the little projecting sacristy, 
which was almost rebuilt in the nineteenth century. 
The shields below them, likewise carved in stone, 
bear no arms ; there is no inscription ; and the whole 
structure, except the figures, may be an Easter 
Sepulchre of the time of Henry the Seventh. 

» D.C.M. I 17. 

104 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

It might have been expected that the name of the 
Great Seneschal of Normandy, the first Luttrell lord 
of Dunster, the builder of part of the Castle, would 
have been so well known on the spot that there 
could be no question as to the fact that he and his 
wife were the originals of the two alabaster figures. 
Yet every writer down to 1879 who has mentioned 
them has described them as representing Sir John de 
Mohun and his wife. This deep-rooted error appears 
to have arisen out of an exaggerated respect for a 
hesitating opinion of the old antiquary, John Leland, 
who, in his account of Dunster Church, says : — 

" In the north part of this was buried under an arche by 
the high altare one of the Luterelles, or, as I rather thynke, 
of the Moions, for he hath a garland about his helmet, and 
so were lordes of old tymes usid to be buried. " ^ 

Although the arms and legs of the knight have 
alike disappeared, his costume, the * orle, ' or wreath, 
round his basinet, the ' demi-placcates ' covering his 
breast, the sword-belt hanging diagonally across his 
body, the six overlapping ' taces, ' or plates, round 
his waist and hips, and the ' tuiles ' that protect his 
thighs, show clearly that he lived in the first part of 
the fifteenth century. Furthermore the official collar 
of SS. round his neck marks him out as a person 
attached to the service of a Lancastrian king. No 
lord of Dunster except Sir Hugh Luttrell answers to 
this description. 

Sir Hugh Luttrell's wife was Catherine daughter 
of Sir John Beaumont of Devonshire, and relict of 
John Strecche. Her first marriage seems to have 
taken place at Christmas 1376, and although her 
husband died without issue in the lifetime of his 

' Itinerary (1907), p. 166. 





In DuTLSter Church. 

AD. 1428-1435. 


father, Sir John Strecche, she obtained a life interest 
in the manors of Wolston, in Devonshire, and Sampford 
Arundel, in Somerset, which she was able to enjoy 
with her second husband \ Several notices of her 
in the Dunster accounts have been quoted already, 
and a few more may be given here : — 

1406. February 11. " Paid to brother Gilbert Ley for 
mendding illuminating, covering and binding a missal, a 
breviary (portaC ), and a French book, by order of my lady 
6s. U. " 

" On Easter Day. In the offerings of my lady and her 
daughters, 4^. And in the gift of my lord to J. a Carmelite 
friar of Bristol, begging, iid. " 

" In the offerings of my lady on Whitsunday, id. " 

June 1 1. "To my lady going on pilgrimage to Cleeve, 6</." ^ 

During the long absences of Sir Hugh Luttrell 
abroad, his wife seems to have spent a good deal of 
her time with her mother, Lady Beaumont, at Saun- 
ton in Devonshire. After his death, the manors of 
Minehead and East Quantockshead, with the ad- 
vowson of the church at the latter place, were 
assigned to her by way of dower, but she appears 
to have compounded for an annuity of 100/ out of 
her husband's estates. She died on the 28 th of August 
1435, and was presumably buried at Dunster. ' Her 
effigy in alabaster lies on the north side of the chan- 
cel there beside that of Sir Hugh Luttrell. She is 
represented in a sideless dress, through the openings 
of which may be seen the girdle of her kirtle, and 
over all a mantle fastened in front by cords which 
pass through open fermeules, or loops ; a long veil 
hangs down from the top of her head. Her feet 
rest on an animal now headless. 

' Inq. post mostem, 14 Hen. VI. ^ Inq. post mortem, 6 Hen. VI. no. 

no. 30. 83 ; 14 Hen. VI. no. 30. 

* D.C.M. xxxvil. 7. 

io6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

Sir Hugh Luttrell had issue two sons and four 
daughters : — 

John, his heir. 

WiUiam, who is mentioned in the accounts for 141 6. 
He may perhaps be identified with the WilHam 
Luttrell who was rector of Birch Parva in Essex 
from 1 44 1 to 1443. ^ 

Margaret. In July 1402, a marriage was arranged 
between John Cotes, esquire, and Margaret daugh- 
ter of Sir Hugh Luttrell. The former undertook 
within three years to provide land to the yearly 
value of 20/., to be settled on himself and his 
wife and the heirs of their bodies. Sir Hugh on 
his side undertook to provide 100 marks within 
six months of such settlement, or 50 marks if his 
daughter should have died in the meanwhile. He 
also covenanted to supply the young couple, their 
two servants and their two henchmen (chivalersj, 
with suitable meat and drink for the first year after 
the marriage, and to give his daughter a sum of 
20/. ^ pour sa chambre'^ The accounts for 141 6 
record a payment for " the expenses of divers ser- 
vants of my lord going over to Warwyckshyre 
with Margaret, my lord's daughter, by appoint- 
ment of my lord, 281. 9^. " 

Elizabeth. In March 1406, an arrangement was 
made that William Harleston, esquire, should mar- 
ry Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Hugh Luttrell as 
soon as convenient after Easter. Sir Hugh under- 
took to enfeoff them of all his lands at Debenham 
in Suffolk, with remainder to the heirs of their 
bodies, and ultimate reversion to himself and his 
heirs. William Harleston at the same time under- 

' Newcourt's Repcrtorium, vol. ii. p. * D.C.M. xxxvii. 44. 



took to enfeoff his intended wife of lands to the 
yearly value of 40 marks, and to enter into a bond 
to Sir Hugh for 125 marks, repayable in case of 
failure of issue. ^ Easter fell on the 19th of April 
in 1406. The following entry occurs in the ac- 
counts of Sir Hugh Luttrell for that year. 

" On the eve of St. Mark (24 April), in paid for the expen- 
ses of John Bacwell sent by order of my lord to Brigewater 
for John Somer, a friar, to come to Dunsterre (propter 
Johannem Somer fratrem Dunsterre veniendum) because of the 
marriage to be made (faciendi) between a daughter of my 
lord and William Harleston, 2J. " ^ 

Bacwell was the domestic steward at Dunster Castle. 
In the accounts for 1423, there is a note that the 
expenses were greater than usual" because Elizabeth 
Harleston, my lord's daughter, was in the aforesaid 
household with five men and seven horses at the 
costs and expenses of the said household for seven- 
teen weeks. " 

After the death of her husband, this lady married 
John Stratton, esquire, of Norfolk, by whom she 
left a daughter, Elizabeth. ^ 
Anne. In April 1408, an arrangement was made 
that William Godwyn the younger should marry 
Anne daughter of Sir Hugh Luttrell about Mid- 
summer. William Godwyn the elder undertook 
to settle upon them land to the yearly value of 
20/. subject to his own life interest. William 
Godwyn the younger undertook to provide a like 
amount, while Sir Hugh undertook to pay 100 
marks in instalments. * The name of WilHam 
Godwyn occurs frequently in the manuscripts at 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 6, 45, 47. 100; cf. Blomfield's History of Norfolk^ 

* D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. vol. viii. p. 287. 

» Inq. post mortem, 21 Edw. IV. no. * D.C.M. xxxvii, 48. 

io8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

Dunster, where he held various responsible offices 
under the Luttrells. 
Joan. There are three notices of her in the accounts 
of the receiver-general of her brother, Sir John 
Luttrell : — 

1428. " Paid to Robert Draper, by the hands of Thomas 
Kynggestone, for the banquet of my lady Joan Luttrell, a 
nun of Shaftesbury, on the 27th day of July, by order of 
my lord, 40J. " 

" To the same lord, on the 30th day of July, when the 
same lord rode towards Shaftesbury to the banquet of 
my lady Joan Luttrell, his sister, to be held there, io6j. 8<^. " 

1430. "Paid to Robert Draper for the expenses of 
my lady Joan Lutrell, and her sister, a nun of Shaftes- 
bury, riding thence to Dunster and there on the 19th 
day of July, 12s. "^ 

The nun had apparently been allow^ed to revisit her 
old home in order to see her brother on his deathbed. 

John Luttrell, son and heir of Sir Hugh, was 
born about the year 1394.* He was presumably 
the person of that name who accompanied Sir Hugh 
to Normandy in 141 7. During the next few years, 
however, he was generally in West Somerset, living 
either at Dunster or at Carhampton, and looking 
after the affairs of his absent father. The accounts 
for the year ending at Michaelmas 1420 contain the 
following entries : — 

" Paid of the reward made to William Franceys, my lord's 
esquire, by John, my lord's son, Thomas Beaumont, and 
others of my lord's council, who were at Dunster on the 2nd 
day of September, and were thereon my lord's business, 20J." 

" In the expenses of John, my lord's son, Thomas Beau- 
mont, Hugh Gary, and others of my lord's council who 
were at Dunster in the month of August on my lord's 

' D.C.M. I. 17. ' Inq. post mortem, 6 Hen. VI. no. 23 


business, 9J. ^^^. In the expenses of the horses of Thomas 
Beaumont at the same time, 2s. ^d. In the expenses of the 
horses of Hugh Gary at the same time, is. <)d. " 

There are frequent mentions of John Luttrell in 
the accounts of the period, and several of them show 
clearly that he was in charge of the building opera- 
tions carried on at Dunster Castle in his father's 

On succeeding to the inheritance in 1428, one of 
his first duties was to arrange for inquisitions with 
regard to his father's lands in Somerset, Dorset, Devon, 
Wiltshire and Suffolk. The following letter to him 
relates to this business: — 

" My ryght worshipfull and with all myne herte welbelovid 
cosyn, y recomaunde me to yow, beseching yow that ye woU 
be remembrid of the litell money that I dude paie by the 
hondis of Robert Colyngborne whiche ys toward me in your 
name, as for the speed of your diem clausit extremum in the 
counte of Wiltes, and by advys of your cervaunt whiche 
laborid for hit in your name at that tyme, which drawith in 
all to the summe of \\\]li. ixj. j<^., whiche y praie yow that 
ye do sende me in as hasty tyme as ye godely may, consider- 
yng my nede ate this present hoeure that I have for my 
goyng obir see. And the holy Trinite yow evir conserve to 
his plesaunce and your ryght greet joye and confort, 

your cosyne, 
John Stourton, knyzght. " 

The accounts for that year record payments. — 

"To John Stourton, knight, by the hands of Henry 
Helyer, a yeoman {vadletti) of William Wadham, for taking 
a certain inquisition in the county of Wiltes concerning the 
death of Hugh Lutrell, knight, as by letter of the said John 
Stourton addressed to the said John Lutrell, 4/. 95. id. And 
paid to Henry Helyar for his reward because of his pains, 
by order of John Lutrell, lod. " ^ 

« D.C.M. I. 16. 


" To John Gregory, escheator of our lord the King in the 
county of Somerset, on the loth of June, for the assess- 
ed portion of the lands and tenements which were of the 
said Hugh Lutrell in the aforesaid country, 12/. " ^ 

Altogether, the sheriff of Somerset accounted to 
the Exchequer for 34/. i 3/. ij^. for the issues of the 
estate for sixty-one days from the death of Sir Hugh 
Luttrell until the assignment of dower to the widow, 
and for 6s. 3^. for the issues of two thirds of it for 
one further day before the delivery to the heir, by 
royal order. ^ John Luttrell had also to pay to the 
Crown 44/. 8 J. io|<^. being two thirds of 100 marks, 
by way of relief on succession to two thirds of a 
barony. ^ 

The following payments are recorded between 
April and September 1428 : — 

" To Thomas Touker of Wayssford for a barge bought 
of John Foughler of Ireland for my lord's use, as for a 
quarter of the same barge, 20/. 

" To John Mathu for a ' burthyn ' and a half of salt fish 
bought of him for John of Stourton the younger and 
William Carent, by order of my lord, 16s. To John Foughler 
of Mynhede, by the hands of the vicar of Mynhede, for 
wine bought for my lord's household at Karampton in the 
previous year, by order of my lord, 66s. 8<^. " ^ 

John Luttrell had apparently been living at Marsh- 
wood in the parish of Carhampton until the death of 
his father. It is curious to note that throughout the 
first five months of his residence at Dunster he had 
guests at the Castle who paid for their respective 
commons fpro communibus suisj. Lady Luttrell, his 
mother, paid 10/. ^s. 2^d. for the board of herself 
and her servants. Sir William Palton, a wealthy 

> D.C.M. I. 16. » Memoranda Roll. 

* Escheators' Enrolled Accounts. 29, * D.C.M. i. 16. 

m. no. 


landowner, paid 1 7/. i gs. /\.d. for the board of himself 
and his household, and William Cornu only 5/. 4/. 
lod. for the like. None of these paying guests 
brought any children with them, but Palton and 
Cornu were married men who had houses elsewhere 
in Somerset. William Cornu's wife had survived 
two husbands, Sir John Malet, eldest son of Sir 
Baldwin Malet of Enmore, and John Luttrell of 
Carhampton, constable of Dunster Castle, who had 
died in 1 42 1 or 1422 \ She was usually known 
by the name of Dame Joan Malet. 

The following payments made between Michaelmas 
1429 and Michaelmas 1430, were charged against 
Sir John Luttrell of Dunster : — 

" To Robert Couke for buying silk at London for my lady 
Margaret Luttrell on the 13th day of February, 6j. 8^. " 

" To Thomas Merchaunt for buying victuals for my 
lord's barge, by order of my lord, 10s. " 

" To Thomas Couke for the provender of the horses of 
Walter Portman who was at Dunster three times to confer 
with my lord on his matter between him and the Duchess 
of York, 3J. 6 J^. " 

" To the aforesaid Thomas Couke for the provender of 
the horses of my lady Elizabeth Courtenay who was at 
Dunsterre for a day and a night, yj. iid. 

" In four hundred * bukhurnes ' bought at Exeter for 
the Bishop of Bath and Wells, at i']d. the hundred, 5J. 
U. " 

" To William Whevere of Whachet for weaving twenty- 
four yards of cloth, 2J. " ^ 

' Some of the documents at Dunster Joan Crakeham, relict of John Crake- 
are careful to distinguish this John ham, who had property at Northcote 
Luttrell from his namesake and con- in the parish of Inworthy, co. Devon, 
temporary ' the son of my lord. ' (e. g. describes herself, in 1475, as daughter 
XVIII. 2.) He may probably be ident- and heiress of John Luttrell. (D.C.M. 
ified with 'John Lutrell son of Richard xxxvii. 60.) It is, however, clear that 
Lutrell ' who is mentioned in 1403 John Luttrell had no issue by this 
(D.C.M. 1. 14), but he can hardly have marriage with the wealthy Malet 
been son of the Richard Luttrell noticed widow. (D.C.M. xvil. i.) 
at the end of Chapter H. A certain ' D.C.M. i. 17. 

112 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

The following payments are recorded in the house- 
hold accounts for the same period ; — 

" In 6 pipes, one 'hoggeshed,* 35 gallons (Jagenis) 3 quarts, 
one 'pynt' (of white and red wine) bought for the expenses 
of the said household, for the year, 1 5/. "jd. " 

"In 51 24 gallons of good and of second ale bought. . . 
26/. 23 J^. " 

" In 7 pounds of pepper bought for the expenses of the 
said household this year, 75. And in i pound 2 ounces of 
safiron (croci) bought for the expensesof the said household 
this year, los. /\.d. And in half a pound * saundres ' bought 
for the store (conserva) %d. And in 30 pounds of almonds 
(amigdelarum) bought for the store, 7^. dd. And in 28 
pounds of* ryse ' bought for the store, 3J. %d. and in 28 
pounds of * roysons ' bought for the store, 3J. 8^. And in 
2 pounds of wax for the store, \%d. * In a * barell * of 

* allec ' bought, beyond one ^barrell' received from the reeve 
of Mynhed coming to my lord from * wayfes ' chattels 
there, this year, 9J. lod. And in 100 red * allec ' bought 
for the expenses of the said household this year, i %d. And 
in a cask (cade) of * sprottes ' bought for the store this year, 
IS. \d. . . And in 70 * hakys, * with the carriage of the 
same, 9J. %d. And in 72 * stok fyssh ' bought for the store, 
with the carriage of the same, this year, lis. \d. And in 678 

* myUewell ' and * lenges * bought for the store by my lord's 
order at Mynhed this year, 8/. 9J. 6^. And in c^i * congres ' 
sea-salted (mersaultz) bought for the store beyond twenty 
that remained over, i 8j. %d. And in a * barell ' of * stor- 
geon ' bought for the store this year, 8j. 6d. And in 3 
gallons of oil bought for the expenses of the said household 
this year, ^s. " ^ 

John Luttrell describes himself as ' esquire ' in 
June 1429, and as * knight ' in March following.' 
He survived his father by a little more than two 
years and died on the 30th of June 1430. ^ It would 
appear that he was buried at the Augustinian Priory 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. II. Deeds and Evidences, box 2. 

* Court of Wards and Liveries, ' Inq. postmorteni,9. Hen.VI. no. 51. 


of Bruton, of which he was the patron. There are 
certainly no traces of any monument to his memory 
at Dunster. 

In the accounts for 1430, a payment is recorded: — 

"To divers men for divers necessaries and the chapel 
(capeir) on the day of the burial of John Luttrell, esquire, 
12S. 2j^." 

In the accounts for the following year, there are 
further payments : — 

" To Robert Drapere for divers expenses incurred for the 
anniversary of Sir John Luttrell, knight, by order of my 
lady, at Bruton, as in wax and other things bought for the 
same, as appears by a bill exhibited before my lady Margaret 
Lutrell on the 6th day of September in the eighth (rectius 
ninth) year, 145. iid. And paid for divers expenses made 
with regard to holding the anniversary of Sir John Lutrell, 
knight, at Bruton, on the 6th day of August in the ninth 
year of King Henry the Sixth, as appears by a bill exhibited 
at the audit of this account and attached to this account, 

The details are as follows : — 

" Bruton. Expenses incurred there by'Robert Draper for 
holding the anniversary of Sir John Luttrell, knight, there 
on the 6th day of August in the ninth year of King Henry 
the Sixth. " 

" In primis in six pounds of wax bought for making thereof 
five round candles (cereis)^ at 5^. a pound, is. 6d. In wicks 
(lichinis) bought for the same, id. In making of the same, 
id. In four pounds of wax bought, as in four ' torchis ' 
hired from the sacristan of the church there, paying 5^. a 
pound, 2od. In a gift to four poor men for holding the 
said *torchis' at the obsequies and at the mass, to each of 
them 4^., idd. In a gift to the beadsman (oratori) for 
proclaiming the anniversary in the town, id. In offerings, 
2d. In bread bought as well for the Prior and the Convent 
as for others who came to the obsequies, 1 5^. In fourteen 
gallons (lagenis) of good ale bought for the same, is. ^d. 

114 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

In one gallon of ale bought for the Prior there, ^d. In 
the distribution made to the Prior and Convent there, that 
is to say to the Prior, ^od. and to the fifteen canons, iid. 
to each, 15J. Item, to two secular priests, iid. Item, to 
two clerks, ^d. Item, to six poor folk, 3<3'. Item, for ringing 
the knell (pro classico puhando)^ ^d. Item, paid to Thomas 
Sartrye, late sacristan of the Priory of Bruton, for five 
pounds of wax bought of him, with the making, on the 
day of my lord's anniversary, at 6d. the pound, 2i. 6d. 
Sum total 3 3 J. 3^. " ^ 

Sir John Luttrell married, in or before 1422, Mar- 
garet daughter of Sir John Tuchet, Lord Tuchet or 
Audley, the owner of Nether Stowey Castle. ^ By her 
he had issue two sons : — 

John, who predeceased him.' 

James, his successor, an infant at the time of his 

After the death of Sir John Luttrell, Margaret the 
widow had dower assigned to her by the escheator 
of Somerset and Dorset. 

The following entries occur in her accounts : — 

" Paid to Walter Paunsefote, escheator of our lord the 
King, by the hands of Walter Portman, being here for 
assignment of dower to my lady Margaret Luttrell, to- 
gether with a reward made to W. Bouchell his clerk, by 
my lady's order, 5 35. ^d. And in the expenses of the said 
escheator of our lord the King, of Walter Portman, of 
William Cloutesham, and others of my lady's council, 
together with the expenses of twelve jurors who were at the 
same place for the assignment of dower, together with the 
expenses of the said escheator by the way in going and 
returning, with a reward made to the said escheator's ser- 
vant, 1 7 J. lO^d. " 

' D.C.M. I. 17. born before 1398, he cannot have been 

* D.C.M. XXIV. 6. Settlement of the her father, 
manor of Kilton. In some pedigrees, ' Calendar of Patent Rolls, i42q-i 436 

she is called daughter of James, Lord p. 86. 
Audley, but as this nobleman was not 


A third of the Luttrell estates having been recent- 
ly assigned to Dame Catherine, reUct of Sir Hugh, 
Dame Margaret obtained a third of the remaining 
two thirds. Although it has been generally held 
that a widow could not have dower in the caputs or 
head-place, of a barony, it is certain that this Lady 
Luttrell received in this respect a third of Dunster 
Castle, comprising the new gatehouse, the older gate- 
way adjoining, and land on the Castle Tor.^ She does 
not, however, appear to have lived there. When 
she came thither in the first year of her widowhood, 
it was to take part in an archery match with some 
of the neighbours. The following entry occurs in the 
accounts for the year ending in September 1431 : — 

" In the expenses of my lady Margaret Lutrell and others 
coming with her on Sunday the first day of July, who were 
at Dunsterre to shoot (ad sagittandum) with Thomas Bratton 
and others, 15. ^d. " 

The same account contains also the following 
entries : — 

"In five yards of 'fustyan' bought in the market-place (foro) 
of Dunsterre for a double gown of my lady, 2s. i\d. And in a 
quarter of a yard of 'tarterys' bought for the said gown, 10^." 

" In two yards of linen cloth called ' Braban ' bought for 
James, my lady's son, i^d. And in a yard and a half of 
russet cloth bought of William Stone for the said James, 9<^." 

" Paid to Joan Noryce, my lady's nurse, for her wages in 
arrear, by the hands of William Percare, chaplain, of Wales, 
and William Warderoppe, 6s. %d. In six ' douseynys ' of 
white cloth bought for the livery of my lady at divers prices 
this year, 375. In ten ' douseynys ' of white cloth woven for 
the said livery, this year, of Robert Northam, 55. In fulling 
the said ten * douseyns,' paying \d. * per doseyne,' 3J. 4^. 
In dyeing all the aforesaid cloth, together with a piece 
containing twenty yards, to a black colour, by John Dyer, 
by the view of William Warderoppe, paying i id. * per 

• Inq. postmortem, 9 Hen. 51. 

ii6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

doseyne,' i yj. 6d. And paid to Thomas Touker of Clyve 
for shearing all the aforesaid cloth, 4J. And paid to John 
Dyer for dyeing a bed-cover, * tapytes, curteynes, costerys, 
bankerys ' and * guysshenys ' {i.e. cushions) both for my lady's 
hall and for the chamber and the chapel at Karampton, yj." ^ 

The accounts of the reeve of Carhampton Barton 
for this year show^ the distribution of the rabbits 
taken at the warren by the parker of Dunster Hanger. 
Some were given by order of Lady Luttrell to Lady 
Elizabeth Harington, to Dame Joan Malet, to Thomas 
Copleston, and to Thomas Bratton already mentioned.^ 

The following payments are recorded between 
September 1431 and March 1432 : — 

" In the expenses of William Bonvyle, knight, Edward 
Seynt Jon, Thomas Bratton, John Lauerance, Walter 
Portman, and part of the household of my lady Margaret 
Lutrell, who were at Taunton with thirty-six horses, from 
Monday the loth day of December until the Wednesday 
next following after dinner, for a certain love-day (die 
amoris) between my lady Catherine Lutrell of the one part 
and my lady Margaret Lutrell of the other part, together with 
rewards made to the cook of the aforesaid William Bonvyle, 
knight, and other servants who were then there, 4/. i ^d. " 

" And paid to John Lauerance who was at Taunton for 
the aforesaid day, of the council of my said lady Margaret 
Luttrell, by assent of Walter Portman one of the council of 
my said lady Margaret, 135. /\.d. " 

" And in the expenses of Robert Ryvers sent to London 
by my lady Margaret Luttrell, to confer both with the 
Bishop of Bath and Walter Portman about the said love 
day and about the payment there of the farm of Dunsterre 
in part, to wit that of the month of November, and to do 
other business there of my lady, in going and staying there 
and returning, for three weeks and four days, 33J. lod. " 

" To William Wardropere, by order of my lady, to 
distribute to priests for the soul of John Lutrell, knight, on 
the 1 7th day of January, 2d. " 

' D.C.M. I. 17. » D.C.M. xvin. 3. 


In three months between Michaelmas and Christ- 
mas, the steward of the household at Carhampton, that 
is to say at Marshwood, bought 246 gallons of good 
ale from divers tenants at Dunster at the rate of ij^. 
per gallon and 619 gallons of second ale at id. The 
consumption of pigeons was also considerable, the 
number in one year being 632, of which 124 came from 
the dovecot in the ' barnecourt ' at Dunster, 504 were 
bought from the reeve of East Quantockshead, and 4 
were presented. The reeve of Woolavington was given 
4^/. as a reward for the capture of a stray swan, and 
was paid los. Sd. for great and small eels supplied by 
him in the lifetime of Sir John Luttrell. 

Dame Margaret Luttrell's expenses were at one 
time larger than her income, and she had difficulty in 
coming to a settlement with her receiver-general, 
Robert Ryvers. In his account for the six months 
ending in March 1432, he credited the following to 
her : — 

" The same Robert has received of the same Margaret, 
as in silver vases bought of her, 20/. And the same has 
received of her, as in silver cups (ciphis) bought of the same 
Margaret, 7/. 55. And the same Robert has received of 
the same Margaret, as in a silver pot (olla) bought of her, 
5 8 J. (^d. And the same Robert has received of the same 
Margaret, as in a white bed of half * worstede ' with other 
clothes (vestibus) bought of her and received in part payment 
of his aforesaid excess, 33J. 4^. 

Even after this, she owed him more than 90/. ' 
Shortly before the close of the account, she had 
married a second husband named Robert Coker, 
without obtaining the royal licence which was then 
necessary for the widow of a tenant in chief. The 
marriage of course remained valid, but a pardon to 

' D.C.M. I. 17 ; XXXVII. 12. 

ii8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

the offending parties was only given on payment to 
the Crown of the then very considerable fine of 40/. ^ 
According to the common practice of the time, Lady 
Luttrell retained the surname and rank of her first 
husband. She died on the ist of June 1438/ After 
her death, Robert Coker was charged with having 
committed waste in two thirds of the Castle of 
Dunster and in the manor of Carhampton. ^ 

James Luttrell, son and heir of Sir John Lut- 
trell, was three or four years of age at the time of 
his father's death in July 1430, and accordingly 
became a ward of the Crown. Within a few months, 
however, the keeping of two thirds of Sir John's 
lands was committed to John Stafford, Bishop of 
Bath and Wells, a close friend of the Luttrell family, 
Sir Humphrey Stafford, his brother, and Sir Philip 
Courtenay, a cousin of the heir. * 

The following payment is recorded in 1431 : — 

" In the expenses of my lady Margaret Luttrell riding 
with eight horses to Hoke (in Dorset) to confer with 
Humphrey Stafford, in going and returning, for four days, 
1 2 J. io|-<^. " 

In July 1433, ^^^ ^i'^g s*^^^ to Humphrey, Earl of 
Stafford for 400 marks, the right of tendering in 
marriage to James Luttrell a lady of suitable rank. ^ 
There is reason, however, to believe that the Earl 
shortly made over this right to Courtenay. At any 
rate it is certain that Courtenay aimed at concentrat- 
ing in his own hands the divided estates of the 
Luttrells. At various dates in the years 1437 and 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1 42g-i 436, p .574. 

p. 188. * Escheators' Enrolled Accounts, 31. 

* Inq. post mortem. 17 Hen. VI. no. m. 59. 

14. The original draft of this document •' Calendar of Patent Rolls, I42g-i4j6, 

has been preserved; D.C.M. i. 20. p. 224. 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1436-1441, 


1439, he obtained a demise of the manor of Minehead 
at a yearly rent of 100 marks, afterwards reduced by 
40/, a fresh demise of two thirds of Sir John Luttrell's 
lands at a yearly rent of 100/, and a demise of the 
lands lately held by Dame Margaret Luttrell, at a 
yearly rent fixed by the Lord Treasurer at 83/. He 
also occurs as the chief feoffee of the advowson of 
the church of East Quantockshead. In 1445, he 
applied for an abatement of his rent, on the score 
that, although James Luttrell had been his ward for 
a long time, and the royal grants had been made for 
his own advantage, he was deriving nothing from 
them, the actual yearly value of the estates being no 
more than the 183/. for which he was liable. His 
rent was accordingly reduced by 40 marks. ^ 

In July 1447, at the request of John Stafford, now 
Archbishop of Canterbury and Humphrey Stafford, 
now Duke of Buckingham, the King promised that 
James Luttrell should receive possession of his estates 
at Michaelmas without proving that he was of full 
age or formally suing out livery of them. ^ In Febru- 
ary 1449, James Luttrell obtained royal licence to 
convey the castle and borough of Dunster, the manors 
of Minehead, Carhampton, and Kilton and the hun- 
dred of Carhampton to feoffees, in order that they 
should be settled on himself and the heirs of his 
body, with remainder to his ' cousin, ' Richard Lut- 
trell and the heirs of his body and ultimate remainder 
to his own heirs general. ^ A settlement to this 
effect was shortly made. * East Quantockshead and 
other property of James Luttrell stood on a differ- 

i D.C.M. I. 19; Calendar of Patent m.20 ; 27 Hen. VI. part 3, m. i. 

Rolls, 1436-1441, p. 241 ; 1441-1446, p. ' Ibid. ; D.C.M. i. 24. 

336 ; 27 Hen. VI. part 3. m. 1;. Wea- * D.C.M. i. 23. Some erasures and 

vtv'?, Somerset Incumbents, p. 423. interlineations on this document occur 

* Patent Rolls, 25 Hen. VI. part. 2. also on the original letters patent. 


ent footing, not being held of the king in chief. 

In 1450, the Bishop at Exeter issued a licence for 
a marriage to be celebrated in the private chapel of 
Powderham Castle between James Luttrell and Eliz- 
abeth daughter of Sir Philip Courtenay, his late guard- 
ian. ^ A large part of the Luttrell estate was settled 
on her in jointure, some two years later. ^ 

On the death of Richard Luttrell without lawful 
issue, James Luttrell obtained some land at Kentsford 
near Watchet, as an escheat to the Honour of Dunster, 
Richard having been a bastard, and also certain 
other lands at Iveton and elsewhere, which had been 
settled on him in tail with remainder to the head of 
the family. ' He got into controversy, however, 
about the executorship, or administration, with Alex- 
ander Hody, who was one of his own feoffees. All 
that we know about the matter is derived from a bill 
of complaint by Hody's wife. She therein states 
that James Luttrell sent a man to her to ask where 
her husband was to be found, and that she, suspecting 
no deceit, told him where he would be for the next 
three days, and that James Luttrell then took one of 
Hody's servants " and putte hym in his castell of 
Dunster by the space of a nyghte, so that the seyd 
servaunt shuld not make knowliche to the seyd 
Alisaunder of the unfeythfull disposission of the seyd 
Jamys. " The story proceeds : — 

"In the mornyng thereapon, the seyd Jamys with the 
nombir of xxxv persones and moo, with bowys beyng 
bente and arowys in ther hondys by hym unlawfully gaderyd, 
wente to the house of Thomas Bratton, squyer, fadir in 
lawe to the seyd Alisaunder, where and atte which tyme she 

' Register of Bishop Lacy quoted in ' Inq. post mortem, i Edward IV. 

Oliver's Ecclesiastical Antiquities in no. 43. 
Devon, vol. i. p. 28. ' Ibid. 





saide her husbonde would be, and there sowght hym, pur- 
posyng to have murderyd and sleyne the seyd Alisaunder. 

" Item, the seyd Jamys and his servaunts to the nombir 
of xxiiij*® persones, arrayyd with dobelettes of defence, 
palettes, bowys, arrowys, gleyvys, and speris [went] to 
Ca. . . . , and ther John Toker, servaunt to the 
seyd Alisaunder, bete and woundyd, so that the seyd John 
was in dispeyre of his lyfe. 

" Item, the seyd Jamys with his servaunts and othir to 
the nombir of xliiij** persones and moo, of grete malice 
forthought purposyng to murdyr and slee the seyd Alis- 
aunder, entryd the castell of Taunton and ther the consta- 
billarye of the same, and all the dorys ther brake and entrid, 
serching after the seyd Alisaunder, and vij sponys of silver 
of the seyd Alisaunder and v ivery komys and other godis 
of the seyd Alisaunder toke and bare aweye, and apon 
the wyfe of the seyd Alisaunder asaute made, bete, and 
with here daggers manassyd to slee, and so would have 
do ner, by grace of God, one of ther felishipp lette hit, and 
Water Peyntore, servaunt to the seyd Alisaunder, cowardly 
nye to the dethe smote, and apon Sir Robert, preste to the 
seyd Alisaunder, asaute made and hym by the here to the 
grounde pluckyd, betyng hym with the pomeUis of ther 
swerdis. " 

" Item, the seyd Alisaunder askyth of the seyd Jamys 
a c. marke in money of the dette of Richard Luttrell, whos 
administrator of godis and catall the seyd Jamys ys. " 

" Item he askyth of the seyd Jamys xvijs. and vj^. remeyn- 
yng unpayyd for pottes of silver and gilte, for a gretter 
summe of moneye by the seyd Alisaunder to him sold. " ^ 

It is perhaps hardly necessary to remark that some 
of the foregoing allegations, such as those about the 
bows and the deadly peril of John Toker, were purely 
fictitious, introduced for the purpose of bringing the 
controversy within the cognisance of a court which 
otherwise would have had no jurisdiction in the 
matter. Some compromise seems to have been made 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 16. 

122 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

in February 1458, when Alexander Hody gave a 
general release from all personal actions to James 
Luttrell, Simon Milbourn and John Loty, jointly and 
severally. ^ 

The dispute betvvreen Luttrell and Hody was per- 
sonal and non-political, for they were both ardent 
supporters of the House of Lancaster. James Lut- 
trell fought against the Duke of York at Wakefield 
at the end of December 1460, and was knighted 
by the Duke of Somerset on the field of battle. ^ 
Seven weeks later, he again served under the victor- 
ious banner of Queen Margaret at the second battle 
of St. Albans, but he there received a wound ot 
which he died on the fifth day. ^ He left issue : — 

Alexander, who died before 1481. 
Hugh, his eventual heir. 
Jane, who married George Stewkley. ^ 
A daughter or daughters unnamed. 

Very shortly before his death, James Luttrell char- 
ged some of his lands in Sufiblk and Devonshire, and 
others which he had acquired in Somerset, with a 
payment of 50/. a year to John Loty, upon trust that 
the money should accumulate in a chest to be sealed 
by him and Elizabeth Luttrell, in order to provide 
marriage portions for the younger children. ^ 

The triumph of the House of York was disastrous 
to the Luttrells, who had been attached to the House 
of Lancaster ever since the days of John of Gaunt. 
Within a week of his accession to the throne, Edward 
the Fourth ordered the sheriff and the escheator in 

' D.C.M. xxxvii. 59. I Edw. IV. no. 43. 

« Shaw's Knights of England, vol. ii. * Visitations of Somerset (ed. Wea- 

p. 12. ver), p, 43. 

* Wars of the English in France. ^ Inq. post mortem, I Edw. IV. no 

(R. S.), vol. ii. p. 776 ; Inq. post mortem, 43 ; D.C.M. xxxvii. 15. 


Somerset and Dorset to seize all the possessions of 
the Dukes of Exeter and Somerset, the Earls of 
Devon, Wilts and Northumberland, Sir James Lut- 
trell and Sir Alexander Hody, in those counties. ^ 
Two months later, a somewhat wider commission 
was issued to Sir William Herbert, Thomas Herbert, 
John Herbert and Hugh Huntley, to take possession 
of the lands of the Earls of Pembroke and Shrews- 
bury and Sir James Luttrell, who are specifically 
described as rebels. ^ For some unknown reason, 
this commission was repeated in August. ' In the 
meanwhile, the king had granted to Sir William 
Bourchier the wardship and marriage of Alexander 
Luttrell, the infant heir, as if it had fallen to the 
Crown in the ordinary course. '' The Parliament, 
however, which sat in November 1461 passed a 
sweeping ordinance against all the chief supporters 
of Henry the Sixth. Sir James Luttrell was therein 
named amongst those who " with grete despite and 
cruell violence, horrible and unmanly tyrannye 
murdered the late Duke of York at Wakefield, and 
who were consequently to " stand and be convycted 
and attainted of high treason, and forfett to the King 
and his heires all the castles, maners " and other lands 
of which they were or had been possessed. ^ Lady 
Luttrell had, in the earlier months of her widow- 
hood, been tacitly allowed to receive the issues of the 
lands settled on her in jointure, ^ and when the king's 
officers took possession of these lands, she lodged a 
complaint against them, protesting that she was a 
loyal subject of the reigning monarch. A commission 

» Calendar of Patent Rolls 1 461-1467, < Ibid. p. 19. 

p, 32. * Roinli Parliamentoriim, vo\.v. pp. 

' 3 Ibid. p. 30. 477, 479- 

» Ibid. p. 99. ® D.C.M. I. 27. 

124 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

of enquiry was accordingly issued in September 1462, 
but it does not appear that she got much satisfaction. ^ 

In June 1463, the King granted to Sir WiUiam 
Herbert, Baron Herbert, and the heirs of his body, 
the honour, castle, manor and borough of Dunster, 
the manors of Minehead and Carhampton, the hun- 
dred of Carhampton, the manors of Kilton, East 
Quantockshead, and Iveton, and lands at Kentsford, 
Watchet, Exton, Vexford, Rixen, Stogumber, Wib- 
well, Huish by Highbridge, and Cothelston, in 
Somersetshire, the manors of Chilton and Blancombe 
in Devonshire, the manors of Stonehall and Woodhall, 
in Suffolk, and all other lands and profits to which 
Sir James Luttrell had been entitled in possession or 
in reversion. The fortunate grantee was to receive 
all the issues as from the ist of March 1461, that is 
to say the third day before the accession of the king. ^ 
This grant was renewed and enlarged in March 1465, 
when some lands at Little Carhampton and Radlet 
were mentioned by name, and the date was set back 
to the 30th of December 1460, as named in the 
retrospective attainder of Sir James Luttrell. ^ 

Honours and offices of profit were showered upon 
the new owner of Dunster. In September 1466, a 
marriage was made, or arranged, at Windsor between 
his eldest son William, who was only five and a half 
years of age, and Mary Woodville, sister of the Queen 
of Edward the Fourth. William of Worcester relates 
that, on that occasion, the king not only dubbed the 
boy a knight but also created him ' Lord of Dunster,' 
to the secret displeasure of the great Earl of Warwick, 
and other magnates. * There is, indeed, no official 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1461-146'/, * Ibid. p. 366. 

p. 231. * Wars of the English in France, vol, 

» Ibid. p. 286. ii. p. 786. 


record of any such creation, but it is worthy of 
remark that the younger WilHam Herbert is styled 
' Lord of Dunster ' in some royal letters patent issued 
during the lifetime of his father. ^ Lord Herbert, 
the father, was, in September 1468, advanced to the 
dignity of Earl of Pembroke. In the July following, 
he was defeated and captured in a skirmish at Edgcote 
near Banbury. The Lancastrians, against whom he 
had been so active in previous years, took him to 
Northampton and there beheaded him, with his 
brother. Sir Richard Herbert. ^ The inquisitions 
taken after his death make no mention of lands in 
Somerset, Devon, or Suffolk, although it is stated 
elsewhere that he died seised of the forfeited inherit- 
ance of the Luttrells. ^ On the other hand, it is not 
necessary to suppose that either of the Earls of Pem- 
broke ever lived at Dunster Castle. Their main pos- 
sessions lay on the north side of the Bristol Channel. 
William Herbert, son and heir of the Earl of Pem- 
broke, being still a minor at the time of his father's 
execution, became a ward of the Crown. When the 
care of his lands was entrusted to his mother, in 
recompense of her dower, the property of the late Sir 
James Luttrell in Somerset and Devon was specifically 
excepted. The King, moreover, appointed PhiHp 
Beaumont, esquire, to be constable of Dunster Castle 
and steward of all the lordships and lands that went 
with it.* So again, in 1472, the King appointed a 
certain John Gogh to be bailiff of Dunster and keeper 
o Marshwood Park. ^ Earher in the same year, 
he had committed to his brother George, Duke of 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1467-1477, no. 21 ; 15 Edw. IV. no. 57. 

p. 132. ■• Calendar of PatcntRolls, 1467-1477, 

* Chronicles of the White Rose, pp. 24. pp. 174, 204. 

III. * Ibid. p. 344. 

^ Inq. post mortem, 9 & 10 Edw. IV. 

126 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

Clarence, Peter Courtenay, the king's secretary, Sir 
William Courtenay, Sir Philip Courtenay, and Sir 
Thomas Fulford, knights, and John Courtenay, esquire, 
the keeping of the manors of Minehead, Kilton, 
Iveton and East Quantockshead, with the advowson 
of this last, and lands at Exton, Vexford, Rixen and 
Stogumber, during the minority of the young Earl 
of Pembroke, free from rent. ^ The object of this 
grant is not stated in the letters patent, but it becomes 
tolerably clear when we find that the four Courtenays 
named in them were the brothers of Lady Luttrell, 
and that Sir Thomas Fulford was her brother-in-law. 
Furthermore, the manors and lands so granted were 
precisely those which she would have had in jointure 
if her husband had not been attainted. Lastly, she 
is mentioned elsewhere as the farmer of the manor 
of Minehead during the minority of the Earl of 
Pembroke. ^ We may perhaps ascribe her success in 
this matter to the powerful influence of the Duke of 

In December of the same year, the Earl of Pem- 
broke's mother obtained a grant of the keeping of 
the honour, castle, manor and lordship of Dunster, 
and of other possessions of the late Sir James Luttrell, 
except those mentioned above, at a yearly rent of 
90/. ^ As the young Earl advanced in years, the 
prospects of Lady Luttrell became steadily worse. 
It was certain that, on attaining his majority, he 
would eject her, the grant to her trustees being speci- 
fically limited to the period of his nonage. In 1475, 
therefore, she formally laid claim to the manors and 
lands that had been settled on her during the life 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls, i^by-i^yj, bundle 67, no. 176. 
p. 330- ^ Calendar 0/ Patent Rolls, i^6y-i4^^ 

* Early Chancery Proceedings, p. 364. 


time of Sir James Luttrell, pleading a clause in the 
act of attainder to the effect that the wives of the 
persons attainted should, if born within the realm, 
enjoy their own hereditaments. She stated that she 
was a native of Exeter, and asked that an inquisition 
in favour of the Herbert family should be set aside. ^ 
Inasmuch as a commission of enquiry was appointed, 
and a Somerset jury endorsed her statements, it is 
probable that her suit was successful. ^ 

In the proceedings of 1475, Lady Luttrell is 
described as a widow. She had, in point of fact, 
had two husbands. Sir James Luttrell had, as we 
have seen, been mortally wounded at the second 
battle of St. Albans and attainted. After his death, 
she had married his cousin. Sir Humphrey Audley, 
brother of Lord Audley, but he in turn was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Tewkesbury and beheaded. ' 
Even in those distracted times of civil war, there 
could not have been many widows who had, within 
eleven years, lost two husbands fighting on behalf of 
the unfortunate House of Lancaster. She eventually 
married a third husband, Thomas Malet of Enmore 
in Somerset, but, according to common medieval 
custom, she retained the surname of Luttrell until 
her death in the reign of Henry the Seventh. It 
was under that name that she, in 1476, stood god- 
mother to Richard, the short-lived son of her patron, 
George, Duke of Clarence. * Her feelings at the 
christening must have been mixed, for it was perform- 
ed at Tewkesbury, the very place where her late 
husband had lost his head. 

' Calendar of Patent Rolls; 1467-1477, the White Rose, p. 127; Paston Letters, 

p. 522. vol. iii. p. 9 ; Rotitli Parliantentonint, 

* Iiiq. post mortem, 15 Edw. IV. vol. vi. p. 128. 

no. 57. * Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii. p. 64. 

^ D.C.M. XXXV. 24 ; Chronicles of 

128 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iii. 

Alexander Luttrell, the eldest son of Sir James and 
Elizabeth, died young, in obscurity. On the death 
of William Harleston, son of William Harleston by 
Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir Hugh Luttrell, 
in 1480, it was found that, under the entail of 1404, 
a moiety of the manor of Debenham, in Suffolk, 
called Blodhall, should pass to his cousin Hugh Lut- 
trell, son and heir of Sir James. ^ Notwithstanding 
the act of attainder, the King eventually allowed 
Hugh Luttrell to receive this small portion of his 
inheritance as a grant from the Crown. ^ 

In 1479, Edward the Fourth, wishing to confer 
the Earldom of Pembroke on his own son, took it 
away from William Herbert the younger, giving to 
him in its stead the Earldom of Huntingdon. This 
young nobleman had been allowed to enter upon his 
lands before he was fifteen years of age, and he enjoyed 
Dunster, Carhampton, and other Luttrell estates until 
the end of the reign of Richard the Third. 

' Inq. post mortem, 20 Edw. IV. * Calendar of Patent Rolls, 146^-147'^, 

no. 100. p. 566. 

Standard Bearer 
FROM THE Luttrell Psalter. 


The Luttrells of Dunster 

The signal victory of the Lancastrian party on the 
field of Bosworth, in August 1485, revived the hopes 
of all those who had been ejected by the Yorkists. 
Henry the Seventh had not been on the throne many 
weeks before some of them were reinstated. Among 
them Hugh Luttrell, son and heir of Sir James Lut- 
trell, presented a petition to the King in Parliament 
setting forth that his father had been attainted " for 
the true faith and allegiaunce which he owid unto 
the right famous prince of moost blessed memory, 
then his soveraine lord, Henry late King of England 
the sixth, " and praying that the act of attainder 
should be repealed, and consequent letters patent 
made void. His petition was readily granted and 
the agents of the Earl of Huntingdon made way for 
the rightful lord of Dunster. ^ 

Hugh Luttrell, however, had serious trouble with 
his mother. Dame Elizabeth, and her third husband, 
Thomas Malet, with regard to the lands which she 
claimed to hold in jointure, and some jewels, plate, 
and household stuff, valued at 800 marks, which Sir 
James Luttrell had bequeathed to his eldest son. At 
last, after legal proceedings had been begun, a com- 

1 Roiiili Parliametitorum, vol. vi. p. 297 ; D.C.M. i. 26. 

130 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

promise was effected whereby Lady Luttrell retained 
the manor of East Quantockshead, and Hugh under- 
took to pay her 80 marks a year for the manor of 
Minehead during her life. She and her husband then 
delivered to him " two basons of silver, two ewers, 
two gilte cuppes covered standyng, two pottes of 
silver and gilt with a pot of silver, two saltes with one 
cover, three boUes with one cover, a chafyng disshe 
of silver, two doseyn spones, a chaleys, a masse boke, 
a peir of vestementes, " and a list of the other goods 
that should pass to him at her death. ^ 

Lady Luttrell lived some years longer, and at her 
death, in 1493, ^^^ buried before the high altar in 
Dunster Church. An incised stone slab, which has 
since been removed to the south aisle of the chancel, 
shows her attired in a sideless dress faced with ermine, 
and a mantle lined with ermine, the neck bare, and 
the head covered with a veil falling below the should- 
ers. Two angels support a pillow, and there is the 
usual dog at the feet. The inscription around it 
runs : — 

** Orate <:|ueBo |>ro dk bne (Bfi^dBet? feuttereff c\nc 
o6iit pximo bie meitBis ^tptcm^txB anno ^ni ntiffio 
cccc nona^eeio tercto. (Itunc QCre te pdimuB miBtttt' 
<\B c\m x>mii rebime ptitos nofi batn^jnare rebem^)to6/* 

This may be translated : — 

" Pray, I beseech you, for the soul of Dame Elizabeth 
Lutterell, who died on the first day of the month of Sep- 
tember in the year of our Lord 1493. Now, O Christ, we 
pray thee have mercy, and do not condemn the redeemed 
whom thou earnest to redeem when lost. " 

The second part of the inscription, as abbreviated, 

' D.C.M. XXVIII. 18 ; XXXVII. 6i. 

> ;DtfaJ oimicCH 01:1 a 0^ o\jo&tmoi/ 

G^@Tatp quDfo )jro a\a buo Gluabctj) 

HrtiKwtU Ljte rtti- 



was apparently intended to make two hexameter 
lines, though at the cost of several false quantities. 
It occurs also, some thirty years later, on an alabaster 
tomb at Oxford, where the standard of Latin scholar- 
ship should have been higher than it was in West 
Somerset. ^ 

Hugh Luttrell of Dunster was created a Knight 
of the Bath at the coronation of Elizabeth of York, 
wife of Henry the Seventh, in November 1487. ^ A 
few days later, he received from his uncle Peter 
Courtenay, Bishop of Winchester, a grant of the office 
of Master of Poundsford Park, near Taunton, with an 
annuity of 10/. for life. ^ He was Sheriff of Somerset 
and Dorset for a year beginning in November 1488. * 
Nine years later, he took the field against Perkin 
Warbeck under the Duke of Buckingham. ^ When 
the Princess Catherine of Arragon came to England 
in 1 50 1, in order to marry the Prince of Wales, Sir 
Hugh Luttrell was one of the seven knights and gen- 
tlemen of Somerset who were selected to escort her 
from Crewkerne to Sherborne.^ In 15 13, we find 
him serving in the royal navy in the ship of Leonard 
Fiscaballi. ' 

There is a mention of him in a letter from Giles, 
Lord Daubeny, Chamberlain of the Household, who 
died in 1508, to Sir John Trevelyan, with regard to 
the royal forest of Exmoor : — 

" I am enformed that of late a litle grugge Is fallen 
bitwene my brother, Sir Hugh Luttrell, and you, for that 

' Macleane's History of Pembroke Col- Luttrell was fined for assisting the 

lege, p. 25. rebels seems to be founded on a mis- 

' Shaw's Knights of England, vol. i. apprehension. Proceedings of Somerset 

p. 142. Archaeological Society,vo\. xxv.pp. 71,74. 

^ D. CM. XXXVII. 17 '^ Letters and Papers, Richard III and 

* List of Sheriffs, p. 124. Henry VIL vol. i. p. 406. 

* Holinshed's 'Chronicle,\o\. iii. p. 784. ' Letters and Papers, Henry VIU. 
Mr. E. C. Batten's idea that Sir Hugh vol. i. p. 652. 

132 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

he hunted of late in the outewods of the said forest, and 
therupon a couple of hounds were taken up by servants of 
yours from his servants. After that, cousyn, inasmoche as 
my said brother Luttrell is a boderer (borderer) of the said 
forest, and that ye know he hath maried my sister, and the 
man whom I doo love tenderly, my mynde is and desire 
unto you that ye shuld have an yghe unto hym above all 
others in those parties. And that when it shall like hym 
to kyll a dere or to hunt for his disporte, that ye suffer hym 
soo to doe, I pray you as hertily as I can. Writen at 
Grenewich the xx daie of Feverer. 

"And 1 pray you, cousyn, let my said broder take his 
disporte, and if he list let hym kyll one dere in somer and a 
nother in wynter herafter. " ^ 

The allusion to Sir Hugh Luttrell as a borderer of 
Exmoor is of course in respect of his property in the 
extreme west of Somerset. There is, however, reason 
to believe that he resided less at Dunster than at East 
Quantockshead, where he appears to have built a con- 
siderable part of the existing manor-house. To the 
Herberts the Dunster estate had been merely a source 
of revenue, and it is quite likely that they had suf- 
fered the older parts of the Castle to fall out of repair. 

At Minehead, Sir Hugh Luttrell built a small 
pier and enlarged the harbour considerably, to the 
great benefit of the little town. ^ In the reign of 
Henry the Seventh he was the Admiral there, and, 
on at least one occasion, he presided over a court of 
Admiralty for the decision of a maritime case. ^ 

Sir Hugh Luttrell was married twice. His first wife 
was Margaret, daughter of Robert Hill of Houndston, 
near Yeovil, a military tenant of the honour of Dun- 
ster, by Alice his wife, relict of William Daubeny of 
Barrington.* This Robert Hill was buried in Dunster 

' Tycvclyan Papers, vol. i. p. 120. logical Society, vol. xxxv. p. 50. 

^ Hancock's Minehead, p. 288. ^ Weaver's Visitations of Somerset, 

■' Piocccitings of Somerset Archceo- p. -^2 ; Trevelyaii Papers, vo]. up. 120. 


Church, but his arms are no longer to be seen there. ^ 
Sir Hugh Luttrell's second wife was Walthean 
daughter of — Yard of Devonshire, and rehct of Walter 
Yorke of Exeter and John Drewe. ^ Her third mar- 
riage must have taken place in or before January i 508, 
when Sir Hugh Luttrell settled the manor of East 
Quantockshead on her in jointure. By subsequent 
arrangements, she also obtained from him the manors 
of Kilton, Iveton and Vexford for her life. ^ In con- 
sideration of some services or payments unspecified, 
the abbot and convent of Athelney, in 1 5 i o, admitted 
Sir Hugh Luttrell and his wife to their fraternity 
and sisterhood, promising to them all the benefits of 
their common prayers, and undertaking to celebrate 
mass for their souls after death. * 

Sir Hugh Luttrell had issue by his first wife four 
children : — 

Andrew, his heir. 

John, sometimes called John Luttrell ' the elder ' in 

contradistinction to his nephew of the same name. 

He was the ancestor of the Luttrells of Kentsbury 

and Spaxton. 
Elizabeth. She married Sir William Carent of Toomer, 

in Somerset, who died in 1564. " 
Eleanor. She married Roger Yorke, Serjeant at Law, 

son of her step-mother Dame Walthean Luttrell. ^ 

It is uncertain whether Sir Hugh left any issue by 
his second wife. Nothing is known as to the parent- 
age of a certain George Luttrell who is mentioned 
in 1580 as a 'servant' of Dame Margaret Luttrell. 

1 Harl. MS. 1559, f. 235. * D.C.M. xxxvii. 19. 

^ Leland's Itinerary, p. 166; Early ^ Rutchins's History of Dorset. vo].iv. 

Chancery Proceedings, bundle 319, p. 112. 

nos. 36-38. "^ D.C.M. XXIII. 22 ; Heralds' College 

^ Inq. post mortem, E. H. 909 ; MS. C. 22. f. 393. 
D CM. II. 5. 

134 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

He had a son John, baptized at East Quantockshead 
in 1 57 1. Ten years later, he was married there to 
Cecily Smyth. He died in 1593, and she survived 
until 161 3. 

Sir Hugh Luttrell died on the i st of February 1 5 2 1 , 
and was buried at East Quantockshead. 

Andrew Luttrell succeeded. He had been mar- 
ried some years. On the 31st of March 15 14, Sir 
Hugh Luttrell of Dunster entered into an agreement 
with Sir Thomas Wyndham of Felbrigg in Norfolk, 
the first provision of which runs as follows : — 

" Andrew Luttrell, sonn and heire apparant of the saied 
Sir Hugh, by the grace of God, shall mary and take to his 
wiefe Margaret one of the doughters of the saied Sir Thomas, 
or any other of the doughters of the said Sir Thomas suche 
as the saied Androwe shall best lieke byfore the Wonysdaie 
next after Lowe Soundaie next commynge after the date of 
this presentes, after the cosdom and lawe of holye churche, 
if the said Margaret or such of her sisters as the said 
Androwe shall best lieke therunto will agree and the lawe 
of holye churche it wyll permytt and suifer. 

The time specified was certainly not over-long, as 
there were only four weeks between the date of the 
agreement and the last day allowed for the solemniza- 
tion of the marriage. It was nevertheless stipulated 
that if Andrew Luttrell should die during that brief 
interval, his next brother, John, should, in his stead, 
marry one of the daughters of Sir Thomas Wyndham 
before Whitsuntide. Another clause runs : — 

" The said Sir Hugh, at his proper costes and charges, 
shall apparell the said Androwe or John that shall happen 
to mary with one of the doughters of the said Sir Thomas 
at the saied daie of maryage as shalbe convenyent for his 


Sir Thomas Wyndham on his side undertook to 
" apparell " his daughter for the wedding, and to pay 
one half of the charges of the dinner and other ex- 
penses connected therewith. The bride's portion, 
— seven hundred marks (466/. 13^. 4^/.), was to be 
paid to Sir Hugh Luttrell in instalments, he settling 
40/. a year on the young couple and giving a guarantee 
that his son should eventually inherit the bulk of his 
landed property. As both the parties to the intended 
marriage were minors, the bride's father was to have 
"the rule and governance" of them and their property 
until the husband should come of age. ^ 

A legal settlement in pursuance of this agreement 
was made in May, shortly after the marriage of 
Andrew and Margaret on the 22nd of April. ^ The 
bride belonged to a family which afterwards acquired 
considerable property near Dunster. In 1537, she 
received from her mother's sister, Elizabeth, Countess 
of Oxford, a legacy of a tablet of gold. ^ 

It was perhaps natural that Andrew Luttrell should 
quarrel with his step-mother. Dame Walthean, who 
kept him out of part of his inheritance. In reply to 
a bill filed against her in the Star Chamber, she stated 
that after the death of her husband, Andrew Luttrell 
" in Lent last past, of his wilfull and cruell mynde, 
without any cause resonable, took her goodes and 
catalles, not levyng her dische, pott, nother panne, " 
and that she and her children and servants had 
" stood in daily perell of their lyves, " until she went 
up to London, leaving only a certain Lewis Griffyth 
and an " impotent, power " almsman, eighty years 
of age, to look after her interests at East Quantocks- 
head. She professed, moreover, to have instructed her 

' D.C.M. II. 3. * Nicolas, Testamcnta Vetusta,p. 676. 

- Inq. post mortem, E. II. 943, no. 5. 

136 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

agent to offer no resistance if Andrew Luttrell or any 
one on his behalf should attempt to eject him from 
the manor house. In such an event, she intended to 
have her remedy at I^lw. A serious affray, however, 
occurred in her absence. Two versions of it have 
been preserved. 

One of Andrew Luttrell's servants, John Gay by 
name, complained to the King's Council that, on the 
7th of June, I 52 1, Lewis GrifFyth and several other 
evil-disposed persons assaulted him at East Quan- 
tockshead, shot eleven arrows at him, one of which 
pierced him through the left arm, while others 
" grevosly strake hym in dyvers places of hys body, 
so that and yff socoure of trees hadde nott byn, they 
hadde kylled and murdered hym oute of hand." He 
also said that he had received " a grette wonde in 
the shilder " with a forest bill. 

Griffyth's account of the matter is much more 
detailed. He being in Quantock Park, "with his bowe 
and his shaffes under his gyrdell, going abought to 
recover a dere, being hurte, in a place called Blakwell," 
met Gay and two other men. Gay was armed with " a 
longe peked staff " seven feet long, and his compan- 
ions carried great axes. They said that they had 
come, by command of their master, to take sixty 
trees for posts, but he told them that this could not 
be done without warrant from Dame Walthean, who 
held the manor for her life. Furthermore, he, " to 
fere the said John Gay and his felowes, shot an 
arrowe wyde of them. " When Gay asked him " to 
holde his hand, " he " took his cap in his hand and 
desyered and tenderly prayed them to departe. 
This they did, but they " wente into a place withyn 
the said towne and there harnyssed them, and called 
to them two idell persons, " and so returned, " two 





of them havyng forest billes, the said Gay havyng the 
said longe pyked staff, a hanger and a shorte dager, 
and the residewe of them havyng grete axes in their 
hands. " By hewing " an olde lying tree " within sound 
of the manor-house, they made Griffyth believe that 
they were felling trees, and when he came out, they 
attacked him and " a chylde " of sixteen who was with 
him. Gay may have been hurt in the fight, but Grif- 
fyth was knocked down and injured with a forest bill 
on the head and hand. Finally he and the boy were 
taken three miles to the house of Lord Fitzwarren, 
who caused them to be " fetered " and put for two 
hours or more in his porter's lodge, whence they were 
released only on payment of a fee to the porter. ^ 

It is impossible to say whether Gay's version or 
GrifFyth's was the more truthful. 

Andrew Luttrell was knighted in or before i 527. ^ 
He was appointed Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset in 
November 1528."* Some five years later, he was a 
servitor at the coronation of Anne Boleyn. * There 
is a somewhat mysterious letter from him to Thomas 
Cromwell dated at Dunster on the i6th of July 

1537 '— 

" Acordyng [to the] request made unto me by your late 
letters yn the favowr of Mens. Pynto for the transportyng 
of a sertyn lady owt of Portyngale hither, I have, as muche 
as yn me ys, furnysshyd your sayd desyre, in suche sorte 
that she ys here aryvyd yn safete wyth her gooddes, wyche 
is extemyd to be of noo small summe. Nevertheles, for as 
myche that y have percevyd, as well by conveans of her 
sayd goodes by nyght, as also the receyving of her person 
and company certyng dystance from the common porte that 
y was apoynted to, that suche secrett thyngkes wrought yn 

' star Chamber Proceedings, vol. xvi. ^ List of Sheriffs, p. 124.; D.C.M. 

ff. 20-22. xxxvii. 21. 

* Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. ii. * Letters and Papers, Henry VII J . 

p. 264. vol. vi. no. 562. 

138 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

her sayd conveance, that nether my shipe nor maryners 
herafter can use there trade of merchandise thither without 
danger, etc. 

He therefore asks for the powerful minister's advice 
and assistance " yfF any trobell shall chanyce unto me 
or myne. " ^ Some explanation of the letter may be 
found in the fact that Henry the Eighth was neutral 
in the war between Charles the Fifth and Francis the 
First. A few weeks later, another Portuguese lady 
of rank and wealth, wishing to go to Flanders, thought 
it prudent to sail in the first instance to an English 
port, thus avoiding the northern coast of France. She 
too had the assistance of the same Pinto, a Portuguese 
merchant. ^ 

Sir Andrew Luttrell obtained some spiritual benefits 
by sanctioning an arrangement under which the 
impoverished Priory of Flitcham, in Norfolk, in 
which he had some hereditary rights, should be 
definitely united to the mother house of Walsingham. 
The Prior and Convent of the larger and more famous 
establishment, in 1530, admitted him and his wife to 
their fraternity, making them partakers in all their 
prayers. They undertook to provide an anniversary 
mass for their souls after death, and to maintain a 
canon who should celebrate daily on their behalf at 
Flitcham. Lastly, they promised to supply them with 
board and lodging for two days and nights every year 
if they should wish to go to Walsingham, a noted 
place for pilgrimages. ^ 

In a will dated the 14th of April 1538, Sir 
Andrew Luttrell describes himself as ' of the parish of 
East Quantock, ' the manor-house there being his 
usual residence. He also directed that his body 

* Letters and Pafers, Henry VIII. ^ Ibid. nos. 520, 757. 

vol. xii. no. 265. ^ D.C.M. xxxvii. 20, 22. 


should be buried in the chancel of the church there, 
before the picture of Our Lady at the north end of 
the high altar, under the tomb and window to be 
made there. To the church he bequeathed 5/. for 
the purchase of a chalice, and to the high altar 20s. 
for tithes overlooked. He also left 20s. to the mother 
church of St. Andrew at Wells, and 40J. to the 
Carthusians in London for two solemn obits with two 
dirges. The Friars Minors of Bridgewater were to 
receive 20s. a year for three years for solemn obits for 
his soul,the souls of his parents and the soul of a certain 
Hugh Trot. Thirty masses were to be said by as many 
priests on the day of his burial, and money was to be 
distributed to the poor on that occasion and on its 
first anniversary. For a whole year, moreover, five 
priests were to sing mass daily for his soul, with 
special prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, each 
priest being paid 61. 1 3J-. 4^. yearly and provided 
with the necessary singing-bread, wine, candles, vest- 
ments and books. 

The part of Sir Andrew Luttrell's will dealing 
with secular matters specifies legacies to a godson and 
to household servants. A silver cup was bequeathed 
to the all-powerful minister, Thomas, Lord Cromwell, 
so that he should be " good lord " to the testator's 
wife and children. To his eldest son, John Luttrell, 
he left all his raiment and his bows and arrows, and 
to his wife. Lady Margaret, all the rest of his goods, 
upon condition that she should surrender them if she 
should marry again. Each of his younger children 
was to have a fortune of 400 marks, the sons at the 
age of twenty-one and the daughters at eighteen. ^ 

Sir Andrew Luttrell died a few weeks after the 

Somerset Medieval Wills (ed. Weaver), vol. iii. pp. 41,42. 


date of his will and was buried at East Quantocks- 
head. ' The tomb erected there in compliance with 
his instructions has an arched recess, with late Gothic 
cresting and panelling. On the lower part there are 
three shields : — Luttrell ; Luttrell impaling Hill ; 
and Luttrell impaling Wyndham. There are no 
effigies on it and the slab has an inscription : — 

'*j0m fugt Jgug;^ ULutivdf U^^^i w^^t be|>artgb 1522 
t^e fgrst bag of S^Bruarg* 

J^ere fiit ®^nbro B^uttteff ftngg^t ^ie 6one wg^e be^Jdrtgb 
t^e gere of on?r forb (Bob mcccccxxxviijf t^t ixi) bag of 
(gtag. On w^ogB BoufgB 3?u ^<^t)e mercg* ** 

The letters are badly cut and the year of Sir Hugh 
Luttrell's death is given incorrectly. ^ 

Dame Margaret Luttrell lived to a great age, sur- 
viving her husband by more than forty years. In 
1543, she was registered as the owner of a ship of 
100 tons belonging to the port of Minehead, but at 
that time in London.^ Having a considerable joint- 
ure, she was a powerful personage. As will be seen 
hereafter, she invested some of her savings in the 
purchase of the Priory of Dunster, after the dissolution 
of the monasteries, thereby consolidating the property 
of her successors. At her death in 1580, she was 
buried beside her husband and her father-in-law at 
East Quantockshead. * 

Sir Andrew Luttrell left issue four sons and four 

daughters : — 
John, his heir. 

' Inq. post mortem, E. H. i78,no.i6. * 1580, July 7. " Died the right wor- 
* It isclearfrom the inquisition taken shipful Dame Margaret Luttrell and 
after the death of Sir Hugh that he died was buried the 8th of August follow- 
in 1520/1, not 1521/2. ing." East Quantockshead Register at 

» Letters ami Papers, Henry VIII. Dunster Castle, 
vol. xviii, part i, no. 547. 


Thomas, successor to his brother. 

Nicholas, of Honibere, ancestor of the Luttrells of 
Hartland Abbey in Devonshire, and of the Luttrells 
of Saunton Court in the same county. ^ 

Andrew, named in the will of his brother. Sir John. 

Margaret. She married Peter Edgcumbe of Mount 
Edgcumbe in Devonshire, who died in 1 607. ^ As 
executors and residuary legatees under the will of 
her mother, they had long suits in Chancery 
against George Luttrell of Dunster Castle. ^ It 
was to Margaret Edgcumbe that Dame Margaret 
Luttrell specifically bequeathed her best and largest 
carpet, the magnificent example of heraldic em- 
broidery which now hangs at Cothele. ^ 

Honor. She married Edward Barrow, at East Quan- 
tockshead on the 26th of January 1561. 

Cecily. She married Richard Rogers of Bryanston, 
in Dorset, who was knighted some years after her 
death, which occurred in 1566.^ 

Elizabeth. She married firstly Richard Malet of 
Currypool in Charlinch. After his death in 155 i, 
she married secondly Sir George Speke, K.B. of 
Whitelackington, and died in or before 1561." 

John Luttrell, eldest son and heir of Sir Andrew, 
was under age at the time of his father's death. 
Cromwell, not forgetful of the silver cup, at once took 
him under his protection, and his name was entered 
in a list of gentlemen suitable to be taken into the 
King's service. ^ He was of course a ward of the 
Crown, and, in June 1540, on the fall of his former 

1 See Appendix. ■* See Appendix. 

- The curious epitaph of Peter Edg- ^ D.C.M. xxxviii. 78. 

cumbe at Maker is given in CoUins's * Somerset Medieval fVills (ed. 

Peerage, vol. v. p. 329. Weaver), vol. iii. p. 130. 

' Chancery Proceedings, Ee. 2. no. 49; ''Letters and Papers, Henry VUl. 

Ee. 5. no. 6. vol. xiii. part ii. no. 1184. 

142 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

patron, his wardship and marriage were given, or sold, 
to Sir William Kingston. ^ Thirteen months later, 
he received livery of his lands on attaining his major- 
ity.^ Subject to the life interest of his mother. Dame 
Margaret, the manor of East Quantockshead was, in 
1543, settled on him and Mary his wife, who was a 
daughter of Sir Griffith Ryce. ^ A further settlement 
of the manor and borough of Dunster, the manors of 
Kilton and Chilton Luttrell, and various lands, was 
made on them in the following year. * From this 
time forward, John Luttrell was seldom at home. On 
Sunday the i ith of May 1544, immediately after the 
capture and burning of Edinburgh, he was knighted 
at Leith, by the Earl of Hertford, the English King's 
Lieutenant in Scotland. ^ In the later part of the 
same year, he was at Boulogne, in command of over 
two hundred men. ^ 

In 1547, John Luttrell was again in Scotland, 
serving under his former leader, who had been ad- 
vanced to the dignity of Duke of Somerset, and he 
led three hundred men in the vanguard of the English 
army at the battle of Pinkie. A week later, he was 
placed in command of the little island of Inchcolm, 
situated in the estuary of the Forth, some two miles 
from Aberdour and six from Leith. The Augustinian 
canons who inhabited it had evacuated it, removing 
apparently to Donisbristle. A contemporary chron- 
icler waxes facetious over the substitution of soldiers 
for men of religion : — 

" Sir John Luttrell, knight, having bene, by my Lordes 
grace and the counsell, elect abbot, by God's sufferance, of 
the monastery of Sainct Coomes Ins afore remembered, in 

' Patent Roll, 32 Hen. VHI. part i. < Ibid. 35 Hen. VHI. part 18, m. 8. 

'"• 22- 5 Letters and Papers, Henry VIII. 

^ Ibid. 33 Hen. VHI. part 3, m. 23. vol. xix. part i. no. 531. 

I hid. 34 Hen. VHI. part g. in. 31. « Ibid, part 2, no. 799. 


the afternoon of this day (Saturday, 17th September) depart- 
ed towards the island, to be stalled in his see thear accord- 
ingly ; and had with him coovent of 100 hakbutters and 50 
pioneers to kepe his house and land thear, and 2 rowe barkes 
well furnished with ammunicion, and 70 mariners for them 
to kepe his waters ; whereby it is thought he shall soon 
becum a prelate of great power. The perfytness of his 
religion is not alwaies to tarry at home, but sumtime to rowe 
out abrode a visitacion, and, when he goithe, I have heard 
say, he taketh alweyes his sumners ^ in barke with hym, 
which are very open mouthed and never talk but they are 
heard a mile of; so that either for loove of his blessynges or 
fear of his cursinges, he is like to be the souveraigne over 
most part of his neighbours. " ^ 

In point of fact, the garrison established in the old 
abbey of Inchcolm soon became a cause of anxiety to 
the English commanders. Instead of being able to 
control the navigation of the Western Forth, Sir John 
Luttrell w^as for a time invested by a leaguer of 
Scottish ships and boats, under an abbot and James 
Dogge, who were sanguine of capturing the rock. ^ 
Although no assault was actually made, he found 
himself almost powerless in the face of two men of 
war, one of them of 80 tons burden. Having sent 
the Sucre to England, to procure timber, coal, and 
other necessaries, he had only the Double Rose, which 
was " lytell and open. " " Ther ys nothinge, " he 
writes on the 2nd of November, " thatt grevys me 
so myche as that I cannott have on suyche shyppe, 

wythe my pynnays, as the Wyllyby ys wyche yf I 

had had, the prisys that I have lost wold have paid 
ther chargys for 4 or 5 monythys. " ^ 

' Summonersor apparitors were offi- 93, gives an account of Inchcolm, with 

cers of courts of law. The allusion is, three illustrations, 

of course, to pieces of artillery. ' State Papers, Scotland, Edw. VI. 

^ Patten's Expedition into Scotland vol. ii. no. 5. 

of Edward, Duke of Somerset. Dick- * Ibid. no. 27. 
son's Emeralds chased in Gold, pp. 37- 

144 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

In another letter of the same date, he describes to 
the Protector Somerset his attempt to take a French 
ship " of 2 toppys " that had failed to get into harbour 
at low tide. The pinnace from Inchcolm " bett herr 
wyth herr artyllerye and shotte so often thoroghe and 
alongeshypp of the Frenche menne that they gave 
greate cryes wythynn borde and ranne herr ashore 
agaynst the chapyl att Lythe, where the pynnys bett 
herr still thorow wythyn poynte blancke, and had 
broft herr awaye yf hitt hadd nott bynne for the 
number of botys that laye under the Frenche mannys 
foreship. " The Scots then mounted on the shore 
two pieces of brass and ten large iron pieces of artillery, 
and so drove off the pinnace and her boat. The ship 
was towed into harbour at high tide, to the great 
disappointment of the captain of Inchcolm, who be- 
lieved her to be laden with wine and other commodi- 
ties for the Governor of Leith. ^ 

One of Sir John Luttrell's great difficulties was the 
want of fuel. " I am, " he writes, " macchyd wythe 
suyche stobborne neyhbors that yf I be a colde, they 
gyve me leve [to] blowe my fyngers, whose gentylnes, 
as I maye, I shall ryght well accquytt, and the better 
whenseover hitt shall please the Concell tapoynt me 
wherwytheall." ^ In another letter, he says : — " I 
have bynne dryvenn to burne too botys, to cutt downe 
and burne 2 or thre lytell treys thatt grew aboute the 
howse, and yett yn thend have benn fayne to goo to 
the Fyfe syde to scyrmyshe wythe them for to gett 
owte some of theyr botes to burne, wher I have lost 
2 of my menn. " 

On the arrival of an English ship, the Scots with- 
drew, and Sir John Luttrell sent away all the pioneers, 

' S. p. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. ii. ' 27. 

no. 28. 


keeping only a few artificers to make doors, iron work 
and walls to support platforms, and some very 
" simple " soldiers. * 

In November, Lord Grey of Wilton ordered the 
master of ordnance at Newcastle to send certain spe- 
cified munitions to Inchcolm, but some of them got 
lost, and an inventory of the arms on the island des- 
cribes an iron culverin as "broken at the mouth," and 
a demi-culverin as "full of honycombes and blow, " 
so that "none dare shute it."^ At the end of the 
month, the Council ordered that Sir John Luttrell 
should be reinforced and supplied with necessaries, but 
that he should be told to use the Double Rose for the 
time, to fortify the western part of the island, and to 
economize his powder. ^ It was considered very 
doubtful whether, in the winter, provisions could be 
conveyed from the Tay to Inchcolm more than once 
a month. * 

On the 8th of January 1548, Lord Grey wrote as 
follows to the Duke of Somerset, from Wark worth : — 

" It male please your Grace. It hath bene by dyvers 
showed unto me of the forwardnes of service of Sir John 
Luttrell. And having this present daie receyved from hym 
intelligence of his proceedinges in those parties, I thought 
good to signefie thereof to your Grace, whereby the same 
maie perceyve howe willingly he escueth idelnes, and dayly 
studdyeth for thannoyance of his yll neighbours. 

" Fyrst, he wryteth howe before Crystmasse, he sent a 
lytle boote he hath, wiche roweth with six cores, unto the 
north ferry, in the nyght, where he tooke the ferrie boote 
harde from the towne, wiche boote wyll lande well 80 men. 

" He wryteth also howe twoo daies before Crysmasse, 
he landyd at Aberdoorie, skyrmyshed with them and burnt 

» S. P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. ii. ^ Ibid. no. 49. 

no. 28. '' Ibid. no. 67 (iii). 

- Ibid. nos. 45, 51. 

146 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

a house harde at the townes ende ; but the contrey came so 
faste upon them that they war compelled to retyer. 

" On Crysmasse dale in the nyght, he gave them a 
camysado ' at the north ferrye, and burnt all the towne, but 
most parte of the men fled, and for hast lefte there geldinges 
behinde, whiche war slayne and burnt in a house they thought 
to kepe. 

" The thirde daie after Christmasse, he landyd at Burnt 
Ilande and brent certayne bootes in the pyer and all suche 
howses as they had newe buylt there, where he had three 
prowde onsettes gyven by the Skottes ; yet he repulsed 
them, and at the same [time] slewe 1 6 of them and, as he 
thinke, many hurte with shott ; after the wiche he went to 
a castle that standeth on the weste parte of the ilande, and 
out of the same there rendered unto hym a riche man and 
his Sonne who dwelled in it, and hath brought them both 
with hym, and had the hoole spoyll of the house, and so 
retorned and mett with one hundreth freshe Skottes wiche 
cam from Kynghorne, thinking to have putt our men from 
there bootes, but they safely embarked and with there shott 
hurte and slewe dyvers of the Skottes ; and of our men 
twoo hurte. " ^ 

One may wonder that it was thought worth while 
to trouble the Protector with such petty details, but 
they are of some interest as illustrations of the 
manner in which the English were trying to subdue 
the Scots. Thomas Wyndham, Sir John Luttrell's 
half-uncle, distinguished himself by burning a con- 
vent, and bringing away the nuns and the gentlemen's 
daughters who were at school there. ^ 

Various provisions were thrown into Inchcolm in 
the winter, but, in February 1548, it was resolved to 
evacuate the place, and the garrison had a stormy 
voyage thence to Broughty Craig on board the Mary 
Hamborough. * 

' Camisado, an attack in one's shirt, no. 5. 
i.e. a night attack. New English Diet- ^ Ibid. no. 2. 

ionarv, vol. ii. i Ibid. vol. ii. nos. 57, 65 ; vol. Hi. 

' S. P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iii. nos. 10, 69. 


On the 6th of March, Sir John Luttrell writes to 
the Duke of Somerset : — 

" Accordinge unto your plesure by yowr late letters 
adresyd, 1 have ruynatyd the fortyfycatyonne off Combys 
Ynche and the howse ther bothe in suyche sorte as thenymye 
shall by the same nether receyve comodyte ner force ; and 
frome thence aryvyd yn thys ryver off Taye the fyrst of 
Marche, wythe suyche munytyon, vytayle, planke and 
tymber as I myght thenn transporte, havynge so lytell stoage 
for the same, for wher the vyz admirall here hadd apoyntyd 
certeyne plates or hoyes unto me for to shyppe the same, 
on of the gretyst burdyn of thos toke another course ynto 
sume part of Ynglonde, by reason wherof I was enforcyd 
as well to burne suyche tymber and planke as I was ther 
dryvyne to leve, and a portyon of byscet, cheyse and here, 
wyche yndede was suyche and so yll as no manne myght 
occupye. " ^ 

He was destined for the command of Dundee, but 
on going there with Sir Thomas Palmer, he found 
that it would not be practicable to make such a 
citadel as would dominate the town. Accordingly, 
he was put in charge of a new fort on a hill near 
Broughty Craig. In writing on the subject to the 
Duke of Somerset, he describes himself " as on that 
nether have respecte to placys nor what paynys I take 
in cacys wher I do the Kinges majeste servys and 
content your Grace. " ^ Two days later, he says — "I 
truste I shall employe myselfe so yn settyng forwarde 
of the workes as shalbe to your Gracys contentatyonne, 
not dowting butt that I shall yelde a good accompt 
of the same, yf famyn do not more hurt thenne feare 
of other attemptes. " ^ 

On the iith of April, he writes to Sir Thomas 
Holcroft and Sir Francis Leake, asking for supplies 

' S. p. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iii. ^ Ibid. vol. v. no. 3 (misplaced). 

no. 68. ' Ibid. no. 5 (misplaced). 

148 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

of biscuit, beer, butter, horses, carts, masons and 
money. ' On the last day of the month, he pours 
forth his grievances to the Protector : — 

" Wheras hytt aperyd unto me by yowr Gracys letters 
addressyd unto me by my brother and beringe date the 22 
of Februarye thatt artyffycers were comandyd hyther att 
that present, may hytt pleas your Grace to understand ther 
ys nott one aryvyd here as yett, besyde the want of whome 
the gretyst laccke of all ys nott as yett suplyed, wyche ys of 
vyttallys, spetyallye of byscett and drinke, I meane suyche 
proportyone as ys requysit for a somer's store, and, sondrye 
wyndes bringe overslypt, ther ys yett no hope of their aryvall 
herr untyll the last howre, and thenn how the wynd and 
passage shall prove yowr Grace know ys dowtfull. 

" I cannot butt jugge a great fawt yn yowr Gracys mynes- 
ters and comysyoners of the northe part, wheryn yf remedye 
be no hadd, all my travaylle here maye lytell suffyce. " 

" Whatt commodyte is ther fownde yn the raysynge of the 
bulwerkes here and turfynge of the same, whenn, for the 
laccke of a few masons and nessessarys for them, the same 
fallys dayle downe and fyllys the dykes agayne, as even 
presently the ester part of the northe est bullwerke ys fallyn 
downe, with suyche abundance of yerthe that the powre of 
a hundrythe cannons could nott make a more perillus 
breache ? " 

" The powre soldyers here ar enforcyd to suyche a nyght- 
lye wacche and dayle travayll withall as I darr saye yn tyme 
of seyge ytt canne be no whytt greater, by reasone wherof 
they tall dayle syccke, so as att thys present there ys yn the 
fort and castell welner a hundrythe syccke and not able to 

come unto the wallys Consyder the travayle of the powre 

menn havinge nothinge butt salt meates. " 

" As for my part, yf hytt wolde pleas yowr Grace tapoynt 
a manne of suyche dyscretion as yow myght better trust, I 
wolde rather trayle the pyke agayne as a soldyer under hyme 
then havinge charge and wantynge credytt. " 

" Besyde the lose of fortyfynge for laccke wherwithall, I 
canne neyther have powder, ledd, nor any other want sup- 

' S. p. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iv. no. 7. 


plyed thatt I have wryttenn for. As for herkebusys, here ys 
not thre able to serve nor one thatt wylbe sent. " 

" Macche the powre menn have benne enforcyd to make 
of ther shyrtes, welnere thys 3 monythys, and not yett sent. 
Monytyone also for fyar worke nor cresset lyght I canne 
gett none, to se the dykes cleryd yn the nyght, werbye the 
Scottys come nyghtly ynto my dykes. " 

" I am suar yi yowr Grace knew how the powre soldyers 
here ar dyscoragyd with ther aforsayd travayle and myserye, 
yow wold bothe of yowr pryncelye goodnes pyte them, and 
dowt the ynconvenyence thatt may folowe of hytt. Thaye 
saye they have servyd 18 monythes and never hadd 
throghe paye, which ys a great tyme. I am, yowr Grace 
knowys, butt one manne amonges them, and nottwith- 
standinge thatt I have and do kepe them yn suyche awe and 
obedyence thatt thaye darr nott utter ther seccrett murmur- 
inges, I am fayne to seme nott to hyar all, and, havinge 
myselfe the same want thay have, they ar content to take 
lyke paynys with me, for ther purse and table ys bothe fur- 
nyshyd as myne ys, and bycawse they se I am also partaker of 
ther wacche and travayle, thay do the lesse complayne. " 

" I wold wyshe yowr Grace shuld send rather att the fyrst 
200 menne to myche thenn so many to few. I juge 400 
handsome soldyers, and all haccbuters were with the lest, 
besyde on hundrythe masons, wherof 50 quaryers, and good 
store of pycckaxys, with style and ashe ynoghe for helvys 
(handles), all manner of other monytyon lykewyse, as barows, 
bascekettes, crowys and 2 able fornyshed cartes with horsys, 
att the last 2 or thre hoyes also laden with strawe, with 
wyche I wyll rayse the utter part of the worke att lest 

5 fote The Scottes and Frenchemenne here determyne 

to take hytt owt of hande. " 

" Thabbott of Pasle came hyther with 2 anseynys of 
Frenchemenn frome Jedworthe to scale the forte, and broght 
with hyme all hys adherentes off Fyfe, so thatt, as 1 exteme, 
with Frenche and Scottys, they were 2 thowsand fotemenn and 
500 horse, which thaye preparyd to kepe the pasage betwyne 
the fort and the castell, to thend thatt whenn the powder here 
shuld have benne brent, ther myght no freshe relyfe be hadd 
from benethe. Whenn the howre apoyntyd came, I had 

1 50 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

preparyd 2 demy barrelles of powder, wich I fyryd yn the 
dyke, with wich the Scottys gave a sodenne showte ; butt 
whenn they should have come to the sawt (assault), as farr 
as we withyn myght understand, thaye begann to stryve who 
shuld come fyrst, and nott beinge agreyd therapponne thay 
thoght hytt better to retyre agayne with wett cotes thenn to 
cleme wallys, and so retyryd ; my lorde of Dunkelles lorde- 
shipp being myche ashamyd hys empryse (enterprise) toke 
no better succes. And yn dede I sent hyme suyche a 
moccke the same mornynge by my drome to Dunde thatt hys 
sprytuall patyence was myche ofendyd withall. " ^ 

On the 20th of June, Sir John Luttrell wrote to the 
Protector in much better spirits, having been abund- 
antly furnished w^ith victuals for the fort and for the 
castle alike. Although the supply of drink was not 
altogether satisfactory, he was able to husband it, 
having abundance of good water. Sixteen galleys 
and " a bryggandyn, havinge a lytell Scottyshe bote 
for ther gyde " had recently anchored off the coast of 
Fife, and he had greeted them with " the fyrst salve, 
wyche the lykyd so yll " that they withdrew. He 
had been daily " attendyd " by 500 or 600 horsemen 
and such footmen as the neighbourhood could supply, 
but he had given them such " playe " that they would 
not come within a mile of the fort, whence he could 
not be provoked to sally forth to skirmish with 
them. He had turfed the new works so high that 
they could not be approached without ladders, and he 
had " platformyd " the castle towards the water, and 
" vamuryd hitt with fayre lopys 6 fote thycke." The 
fort must have been of some size, as two " plowys 
and oxen" and eighteen horses that he had seized were 
constantly employed in carrying turf. ^ 

> S.P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iv. ■ Ibid. no. 38. 

no. 14. 


Lord Grey of Wilton was not so well satisfied, for 
he wrote on the 25 th of the same month : — 

" I have dyvers tymes requyred Sir John Luttrell that, in 
the depeche of his souldiours or laborers, he wolde eyther 
paie them throughly or sende me worde of the true debte 
unto them, so as nether the poore may be enwronged, nor 
the Kinges majestie further burdened then reason is, and yet 
now agayne here is arryved 30 or 40 poore laborers, syckly 
and weake, who saith they be not payd any one peny syns I 
sent them thither, nor bring with them any pasporte or other 
declaration of their due. " ^ 

On the other hand the Protector highly commended 
Sir John Luttrell's good service, and empowered him 
to treat with the Earl of Argyll, who, it was thought, 
might be tempted by promises of English gold. ^ 

In the autumn of i 548, Luttrell had several sharp 
skirmishes with Sir David Graham of Fintrie and 
other neighbours, and killed a considerable number of 
the soldiers and townsmen who were holding Dundee. 
In one of his forays, he captured the eldest son and the 
nephew of the laird of Panmure, ten hakbutters, more 
than 700 " white beasts " and 1 20 " horned beasts. " ' 

On the 7th of November, some English ships in the 
Tay landed men at Dundee and, with assistance from 
Sir John Luttrell, drove out the townsmen. As soon, 
however, as the soldiers began to loot the place, James 
Dogge fell upon them and drove them out in turn, 
with a loss of thirty killed. The English recaptured 
the town the next day, but abandoned it very shortly. * 

On the 3rd of December, the Earl of Angus and 
the Rhinegrave, with 50 lances and 200 light horse- 
men, appeared before Broughty Craig, and Sir John 

• S.P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iv. Vhistoire de I'Ecosse, vol. i. p. 195. 

no. 40. * S.P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. iv. 

* Ibid. no. 45. , nos. 114, 115, 118. 
2 Teulet, Papiers d'Etat relatifs a 

152 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

Luttrcll, " seeing that they sought some pastime, " 
sallied out with thirty horse and some footmen. After 
some skirmishing, the Rhinegrave retired and tried to 
lead the English into an ambush. Luttrell had, how- 
ever, foreseen such a scheme and had stationed some 
signalmen in the fort, to watch the movements of the 
enemy. Duly informed by them, he retired to a hill 
and there gallantly defended himself against superior 
numbers until reinforcements, hidden behind the hill, 
came up. The enemy were thus caught in the trap 
which they had prepared for him. Panic-stricken they 
fled, and their leaders could not induce them to stop 
until they were safe within the town of Dundee. 
The pursuit would have been more effective if the 
English captain had had more than thirty horsemen, 
but nevertheless he had reason to be satisfied with 
the day's work. A young French gentleman was 
found dead on the field. Eighteen of the Germans 
met their fate in the river Dighty and many more on 
dry land. Sixteen of them and two Scots were taken 
prisoners. Many, including the Rhinegrave himself, 
were wounded. The details of this affair come, curi- 
ously enough, from a Spanish source. ^ 

The last of Sir John Luttrell's letters that has been 
preserved is an urgent application for leave of absence, 
written at Broughty on the 22nd of January 1549, 
and addressed to the Duke of Somerset : — 

" I have receyved, with the last convoye of victualles that 
cam hether, a letter from my mother, wich I have sent yower 
Grace enclosed herein, to thend that, seing the good offer 
she hath made me for thadvauncement of my poore levyng, 
it might the rather please yower Grace's pryncelye honour to 
fordre me therin. Wich doing, I shall be the abler to serve 
the Kynges majestie and yower Grace, as one that dowteth 

' Teulet, pp. 202-204. 


not to shewe myself so as yower Grace shall perseyve both 
that and all the rest that I possesse shall be bent alwayes unto 
his maister's servyce — so as it might please yower Grace to 
serve hyr fanceye and my commodyte at thys tyme for my 
commyng home presentlye. 

" And because yower Grace shall the better perceyve the 
offer that she hath made me, may it please yower Grace to 
understand that the manor of Myniett (Minehead) that she 
promyseth me, is 120/ by the yeere, besydes that hyr joynter 
is almost 300 marke with hyr demeynes, as I gesse it, wich 
wyll be, as yower Grace maye consydre, a great advauncement 
of my poore levyng, besyde the helpe that I shall procure at 
hyr handes, and my mother in lawes, for the payment of my 
dettes, wich if I shold not take now when it is offred me, I 
never loke to come unto it. For iff shee shold take a fancye 
in hyr head to marrye, I were utterlye undone ! " 

" Notwithstandyng my busynes with my mother, 1 wyll in 
the meane tyme so furnyssh myselfe with horse and harnes 
that, in the begyning of this somer, my trust is I wyll be in 
as good order to serve yower Grace in the feld as no gentyl- 
man, I trust, in all Ingland shall be better of my abyllyte 
and power. 

" Humblye desyryng yower Grace in the meane tyme to 
heere my humble sute, for, besyde the goodnes of my mother 
unto me, 1 have a great deale of monye to paye unto my 
creditours, for whome I must provyde payment, or other- 
wyse it wyll be more to my dyspleasure then I maye well 
beare. " ^ 

Dame Margaret Luttrell's letter, which w^as en- 
closed in the preceding, has disappeared, but we may 
fairly infer that she had offered to clear the manor of 
Minehead of the charge which her husband, Sir 
Andrew Luttrell, had made upon it for the benefit 
of his younger children. ^ It seems clear that Sir 
John Luttrell was not allowed to leave his post even 
for a few months. He was trusted as a diplomatist 
no less than as a soldier, and, in March 1549, he was 

' Hamilton Papers, vol. ii. p. 627. p. 42; D.C.M. xxix. 28. 

^ Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. iii. 

154 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

appointed one of the two English commissioners to 
treat with the Earls of Argyll, Athol and Errol and 
others, with a view to the expulsion of the French 
from Scotland, and a marriage between Edward the 
Sixth and Queen Mary.' The negotiation, how^ever, 
came to nothing. ^ The last of Sir John Luttrell's 
exploits seems to have been a raid in which he burned 
several villages and took prisoner a certain Monsieur 
de Toge, as recorded in the journal of the young 
English King. ^ 

In the early part of 1550, the Scots resolved to 
make a serious attack upon Broughty Craig. Al- 
though described as " behind the age both in the rais- 
ing and the besieging of fortified places, " they were 
encouraged and aided by their more experienced allies 
from France. * The sequel may be given in the words 
of a Scottish chronicler : — 

" Monsieur de Thermes, with the assistance of the Gov- 
ernour, quha accompaneit him in all his interprices, came 
forduarte to the toune of Dundie in the beginning of 
Fabruar ; quhair having prepared sic thingis as wes necessar 
for the seiging of the fort, he laid the battre thairto apoun 
the south eist pairt thairof, and cuttit away all moyens, pas- 
sages and intelligences betuix the fort and the castell of 
Broughtie, so the fort culd haif no kinde of ayd nor releyf 
frome the sey ; and eftir the same was doung doun with 
gret ordinance, the assailt was gevin thairto, baithe with the 
Scottis and Frenche men the xx day of Fabruar ; quhair 
the Inglismen maid resistance and defence at the first entering, 
bot thay war so curageouslie and stoutlie assailyet that thai war 
dung frome the wallis, and the most part of thame all quhilk 
was within the fort war slayne, and the rest taikin presoners. 

" The nixt day, the Inglismen quha kepit the castell of 
Broughtie, fering the like to cum to thame, randerit the 

' S.P. Scotland, Edw. VI. vol. v. ^ Burnet's History of the Rcjormation. 

nos. 12, 13. ^ Burton's History of Scotland, (ed. 

* Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, 1897) vol. iii. p. 278. 
^547-Jj6j. p. xvi. 


castell, having onlie thair liffis saif. So that haill cuntrey 
wes clenged of the Inglismen immediatlie. " ^ 

The less circumstantial English chroniclers antedate 
the fall of Broughty Craig by a couple of months, 
and state that the Scots slew all its defenders except 
Sir John Luttrell, whom they took prisoner. ^ This 
is clearly an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that 
the avenging Scots scandalized their foreign allies by 
their unwillingness to give any quarter. ^ 

The English government did not fail the captive 
in his time of trouble. As early as the 5 th of March, 
the Council at Westminster ordered the Warden of 
the East and Middle Marches " to do what he can 
for the delyvery of Mr. Luttrell, and, at his arryval, 
to helpe him with money for his cummyng, which 
shalbe repayed. " Two days later, they issued a war- 
rant for no less than 400/. " for the raunsom of Mr. 
Luttrell and others taken at Browghty Crag. " * 

Furthermore, at the end of the same month, it was 
resolved that three Gordons, who were hostages for 
important Scotsmen, should be delivered to Thomas 
Wyndham " to be by him conveyed to Sir John 
Luttrell for his relief. " ^ Wyndham, it will be re- 
membered, was Sir John's half-uncle. 

The late captain of Broughty Craig was in due 
course released from captivity, and, in June 1550, the 
Council resolved : — 

" That Sir John Luttrell, in consideration of the notable 
good service he hath doone unto the Kinges Majistie during 
all his warres, shall have landes to the value of 100 markes 
by the yere during his Highnes pleasure. " '^ 

' Lesley's History of Scotland, p. 251. ii. pp. 406, 407. Knights were often 

* HaywaTd'sLifcandrcigno/Edwai'd styled "Mr." in the sixteenth century. 
VI. in Kennett's Complete History, vol. ^ Ibid. p. 421. 

ii, p. 291; Stowe's ^«na/s, p. 601. ^ Ibid. vol. iii. p. 58; Patent Roll, 

^ Burton, p. 279. 4 Edw. VI. part 5 ; D.C.M. xxxvii. 27. 

* Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. vol. 

156 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

Although defeated, he was in no sense disgraced, 
and, later in the year, he extracted from the govern- 
ment no less than 3,200/. for " the waiges of himself 
and his souldiours in the Northe. " ' 

There is at Dunster Castle a most interesting pic- 
ture on panel commemorative of Sir John Luttrell's 
rectitude and courage in adversity. It represents him 
as half immersed in the sea, not far from a man-of-war 
flying the red cross of St George, but in a desperate 
condition, struck by lightning and in flames. He is 
wading ashore, without any clothes except a large 
scarf tied round his right arm which he holds upright, 
with the fist clenched. A bracelet round the wrist of 
this arm is inscribed : — " Nee Jiexit lucrum, '^SS'^'> " 
while the corresponding bracelet on the left arm is 
inscribed : — " Nee f regit discrimen. 

In a cloud above is a group of female figures. The 
largest of them, as naked as Sir John himself, is laying 
her left hand on his outstretched arm, and holding in 
the right a sprig of olive. The others hold respect- 
ively a peacock, a breastplate, a helmet, a sword, 
a purse, and a horse. On a rock below there is the 
following inscription : — 

" More the the rock amydys the raging seas, 
The constat hert no dager dreddys nor fearys, 

s. I. L." 

Lower on the rock is the date " 1550 " and the 
monogram of the painter " IE. " 

This monogram, the allegorical character of the 
picture, and the execution alike show it to be the 
work of Lucas d'Heere. The date, however, presents 
some difficulty, inasmuch as this artist is stated to have 
been born at Ghent in 1534, so that he would have 

' Ads of the Privy Council, pp. io6, 135, 243. 


been only sixteen years of age in 1550. ^ An ingenious 
theory that the date should read " 1558, " part of the 
last figure having been obliterated, proves on examin- 
ation altogether untenable.^ Sir John Luttrell was not 
living in 1558 ; a replica of the picture at Badmon- 
disfield Hall in Suffolk bears the earlier date ; and a 
portrait by Lucas d'Heere of Thomas Wyndham, Sir 
John Luttrell's half-uncle, at Longford Castle, is in- 
scribed " ^TATis XLii. MDL. " It is possiblc that 
both the pictures were painted by order of Dame 
Margaret Luttrell some time after 1550, in order to 
commemorate the valour displayed by her son and her 
half-brother in the war of that year. On the whole, 
however, it is far more probable that there is an error 
as to the date of the birth of Lucas d'Heere, and that 
he painted these companions in arms from life soon 
after their return from Scotland in 1550. 

Before very long, the picture at Dunster was slightly 
altered by the addition of the head of a drowning man 
and other minor accessories, with two Latin couplets 
on the rock : — 

" Effigiem renovare tuam^ fortisstme miles^ 
Ingens me meritum fecit amorque tui^ 
Nam nisi curasses heredem scrihere fratrem^ 
Hei^ tua contigerant prcedia nulla mihi, 
1591. G.L. " 

The best translation ofthehnes yet offered runs : — 

" Your great desert and my regard for you 
Cause me, brave knight, your portrait to renew. 
For had you not your brother made your heir, 
None of your lands had fallen to my share. " 

The initials of the restorer are those of George 
Luttrell of Dunster Castle, nephew of Sir John. The 

' Van Mander, Le Livre clcs Peiiit- ' Mr. Lionel Cust, in Atcliaeologia, 

res. vol. liv. p. 77. 

158 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

additions are not to be seen on the replica at Badmon- 
disfield Hall, which must consequently be anterior to 
I 591. It may have been painted for one of Sir John 
Luttrell's daughters, but nothing is known about its 

Writing in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
Thomas Palmer of Fairfield notices the portrait of Sir 
John Luttrell at Dunster, and mentions a tradition then 
current that it referred to his " having saved a certain 
lady from drowning, whom he was then in love 
with, and afterwards married. " ^ Later on, Collinson 
quotes these words from the manuscript on which he 
so largely relies, but suppresses the fact that Palmer 
did not believe the story. ^ Lastly, Savage, accepting 
it implicitly, makes matters even worse by saying that 
the lady is represented as secured to the man's arm by 
a handkerchief, and that a figure of victory " appears 
as if ready to crown him with laurel. " ^ Victory, 
forsooth, after the disaster at Broughty Craig ! Suffice 
it to observe that the picture does not show any crown 
of laurel, that the only drowning figure (added in 1591) 
is that of a man with a large moustache, and that Sir 
John Luttrell had been married some seven years 
before the date inscribed. The romantic story and 
the erroneous description of the picture are alike 
characteristic of the period to which they belong. 

After three centuries and a half, one cannot be cer- 
tain of understanding every allusion in this allegorical 
picture, and one may easily credit its author with 
ideas that never passed through his brain. The gen- 
eral meaning of it is, however, clear enough. It is 
not necessary to suppose that Sir John Luttrell ever 
sufi'ered actual shipwreck. The year 1550 witnesses 

' ^^IS. at St. Audiies. 3 Hisiory of the Hundred of Car- 

' History oj Somerset, vol. ii, p. 12. Hampton, p. 445. 


the wreck of the English cause in Scotland. Sir John 
Luttrell, one of its chief representatives, is a prisoner, 
denuded of all that he values most. He does not, 
however, give way to unseemly grief. No offer of 
lucre can turn him from his duty ; no danger can 
break his lofty spirit. In a sea of misfortune he 
stands erect. The rainbow of hope appears in the sky 
and the darkest cloud shows a silver lining. The 
goddess of peace takes him by the arm and holds forth 
a sprig of olive symbolical of the treaty concluded 
between England and Scotland. Behind her stand her 
satellites, ready to restore to the hero all that he has 
recently lost. ^ 

If the letters ' S.I.L. ' stand for English words, they 
may be taken to represent the name of the subject of 
the portrait. Sir John Luttrell. If on the other hand 
they stand for Latin words, an interpreter has a wide 
field before him, sententia, simulacrum, somnium and 
other nouns being possible extensions of the first letter. 

Although Sir John Luttrell was often in want of 
money wherewith to pay his soldiers, there is little 
foundation for Collinson's statement that, being " ex- 
tremely desirous of glory, " he " greatly wasted the 
fair patrimony which descended to him from his 
ancestors, selling great part of his demesnes at Dunster, 
Kilton and elsewhere. " ^ A mortgage that he had 
made of Minehead Park was, indeed, foreclosed by his 
cousin Hugh Stewkley, a grasping lawyer, but Dame 
Margaret Luttrell intended to pay it off, and Stewk- 
ley was charged with behaving dishonestly in the 
matter. ^ The property thus lost consisted of two 

1 The peacock may perhaps be an the scarf had some definite meaning, 
extended version of the Luttrell crest. ^ History of Somerset, vol ii. p. 12. 

Dr. Warre thinks that it suggests the ^ Inq. post mortem, C. H. 106, no. 

presence of Juno. He also sees a true 55; Chancery Proceedings, Series II, 

lover's knot in the arrangement of the bundle 113, no. 76; D.C.M. xxi.x 37. 
scarf. There can be little doubt that 

i6o A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

hundred acres of agricultural land which had ceased 
to be maintained as a park in the time of Sir Andrew 
Luttrell. • The name, however, still survives. 

Kilton Park was, in 1553, merely a wood of about 
a hundred acres " well sett with okes and yonge 
ashes. " Dame Margaret Luttrell had at that time 
the enjoyment of the park at East Quantockshead of 
the same size, enclosed with a pale and containing 
about a hundred deer. Marshwood Park, enclosed 
partly by a ditch and hedge and partly by a pale, 
comprised a hundred acres and maintained a hundred 
deer. Thomas Wyndham already mentioned had a 
lease of it for sixty years, at a nominal rent during 
his own lifetime. The only park in Sir John Luttrell's 
own hands was that below his castle, comprising 
seventy-two acres, of which only twenty were in the 
old manor of Dunster, Great Avelham and twelve acres 
" on the sowest syde of the water " being reckoned as 
part of the manor of Carhampton. Here there were 
fifty deer and " dyvers great okes, elmes and ashes, " 
which, if near together, would have occupied four 
acres out of the twenty acres in the Hanger. ^ 

Among the muniments at Dunster Castle there is a 
small memorandum on parchment with regard to 
swan-upping, as follows : — 

" S-- John Lutterell. §2! ^^^Z "^ 

" S"" Andrew Lutterell. 


These were the markes which theise men above written had 
upon the beeles of their swanes belonginge unto the Castell 

' Leland's Itincraiy, (1907) p. 166. - D.C.M. ill. 2; xix. 25; XX. 4, 6. 


of Dunster by inheritance and alwayes kepte at the Mere by 
Glastonberrye. Yt is good to renewe yt. S. L. " ^ 

Sir John Luttrell was not the sort of man who could 
settle down quietly to the normal life of a country 
squire. A camp was more to his liking, and, being 
prevented by the peace from pursuing an active mil- 
itary career, he determined to go abroad in search of 
adventure. With this object, he combined with sev- 
eral kindred spirits in organizing an expedition to 
Morocco, professedly for the development of com- 
merce. The leader of it was to be his half-uncle 
Thomas Wyndham, a brave and experienced sailor, 
but an incorrigible pirate. When, however, the ship 
sailed from Portsmouth, Sir John Luttrell was not on 
board. ^ The month of July 1 5 5 1 was miserable on 
account of the sweating sickness. 

" The sufferers were in general men between thirty and 
forty, and the stoutest and healthiest most readily caught the 
infection. The symptoms were a sudden perspiration, ac- 
companied with faintness and drowsiness. Those who were 
taken with full stomachs died immediately. Those who 
caught cold shivered into dissolution in a few hours. Those 
who yielded to the intense temptation of sleep, though but 
for a quarter of an hour, woke only to die. " ^ 

One of the earliest and most distinguished victims 
of this terrible pestilence was Sir John Luttrell, who 
succumbed to it at Greenwich on the loth of July. 
A Londoner who records his death describes him as 
" a nobull captayne. " * He was about thirty-one 
years of age. A few days only before the death of Sir 
John Luttrell, certain commissioners had been empow- 
ered by the King to pronounce a divorce between him 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 24. vol. V. p. 353. 

* Hakluyt's Fojn^es, n. ii, 7-11; D/c^ * Machyn's Diary, p. 7; Camden 

of National Biography, vol. Ixiii. p. 249. Miscellany, vol. x. part 2, p. 73. 
^ Froude's History of England (1867). 

i62 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

and his wife, upon proof of her adultery. ^ This lady 
afterwards married James Godolphin of Gwinear, in 
Cornwall. Inasmuch as she was a legatee under the 
will of her mother-in-law, Dame Margaret Luttrell, 
we may fairly presume that the charges against her 
had not been established. ^ By an arrangement re- 
pugnant to feudal ideas, the Castle of Dunster, which 
was the head-place of the Honour of that name, formed 
part of her dower or jointure. ^ She had some house- 
hold goods there in 1553, which had belonged to her 
father, Sir Griffith Ryce, but she afterwards went to 
live at Kilton. * She continued to bear the surname 
of her first husband until her death, and she was 
buried among the Luttrells at East Quantockshead on 
the last day of March 1588. 

Sir John Luttrell left issue three daughters, Cather- 
ine, Dorothy and Mary, who, being minors at the time 
of his death, became wards of the Crown : — ^ 

Catherine was aged fourteen. Under the will of her 
maternal grandmother. Dame Catherine Edgcumbe, 
she received a chain of gold with a flower set with 
two diamonds and a ruby. *" In July 1558, she 
married Thomas Copley of Gatton, in Surrey. 
There is a curious letter of that date from him to 
the Master of the Revels asking for the loan of a 
mask for the wedding which was to take place at 
Nonsuch, and which he affected to deplore. ' A 
tradition in his family, however, says that he had 
been so attracted by the beauty of Catherine Luttrell 

' Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials, p. 149. 

vol. ii, part ii, p. 204. * jnq. post mortem, C. II. 106. no. 

■■* Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. 55; E. II. 943, no. 5; D.C.M. 11. 12, 14. 

vi. p. 15. fi Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. iii. p. 

^ Inq. postmortem. C. II. 159, no. 43; 149. 

D.C.M. II. 14, 17. " Loseley Manuscripts (ed. Kempe), 

* Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. iii. p. 59. 


that he refused the hand of a daughter of Lord 
Howard of Effingham, who consequently became 
his enemy. ^ 

Catherine Copley had a chequered career. Her hus- 
band was rich and highly connected. He sat in 
several Parliaments, and the Queen herself stood 
godmother to their eldest son in 1561.^ Some two 
years later, however, he became a Roman Catholic. 
After being fined and imprisoned in 1568, he very 
imprudently went abroad without licence, in the 
early part of 1570. The government accordingly 
seized his goods and confiscated most of his rents, 
and, although his wife was allowed to return to 
England for a while, he remained in exile until his 
death at Antwerp in 1 584. Having been knighted 
and created a baron by the French King, he chose 
to style himself ' Sir Thomas Copley, knight, Lord 
Copley of Gatton, ' and he also set up an untenable 
claim to the English baronies of Welles and Hoo. ^ 
After the death of her husband,Lady Copley returned 
to England and proved his will. As part of her 
jointure, she had the right of nominating the two 
members for the little constituency of Gatton. * 
She is described as very "simple" and unfit to meddle 
with politics, but, being a noted " bigot " she was 
regarded with suspicion, and was committed to 
prison once if not twice in her later years. ^ She 
was living in 1603. ^ 

* Morris, Troubles of our Catholic N. s. vol. xv. p. 179. 

Forefathers, vol. i. p. 51. ® Nearly all that is known about Sir 

^ Nichols's Progresses of Queen Eliz- Thomas Copley, his wife, and his 

abeth, vol. i. p. 128. family has been brought together in 

^ Foley's Records of the English Mr. R. C. Christie's Introduction to the 

Province of the Society of Jesus, vol. i. Letters of Sir Thomas Copley, printed 

p, 186. for the Roxburghe Club in 1896. The 

* Loseley Manuscripts, p. 242. editor there corrects several errors in 

* S. P. Dom. Addenda, Elizabeth, the article which he had previously 
vol. xxxi. no. 158; Strype's Annals, contributed to the Dictionary of Nation- 
vol. iii ; Acts of the Privy Council, al Biography, vol. xni. p. i6g. 

1 64 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. iv. 

The arms of Luttrell occur several times in some fine 
heraldic glass that was removed from one of the 
seats of the Copley fiimily to the great hall at Sutton 
Place near Guildford. 

A more curious memorial of the Copleys is an oil 
painting w^hich now hangs at Dunster Castle, hav- 
ing been recently bought by Mr. G. F. Luttrell. 
In this, Sir Thomas Copley is represented in a tab- 
ard bearing the arms of Copley and Hoo quarterly, 
kneeling at a faldstool, with his five sons behind 
him. On the opposite side, Lady Copley is re- 
presented in a mantle bearing the arms of Luttrell 
and Ryce alternately, similarly kneeling and attended 
by her four daughters. 

The central part of the picture is intended to illustrate 
the progress of the human soul from earth to hea- 
ven. The flesh and the devil endeavour to hold it, 
but death cuts their gilded cords with his scythe 
and the soul ascends through thirteen concentric 
circles representing the Ptolemaic system. In the 
Empyrean Heaven above is the crucified Saviour 
attended by Saints, and in the circumference are 
Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, 
Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels, ac- 
cording to the Dionysian arrangement which was 
followed by Dante and others. This ' device ' of 
Sir Thomas Copley, having been approved by the 
theologians of the University of Paris in 1580, was 
engraved there in that year. ^ His eldest daughter 
added a Latin inscription and three coats of arms 
to the original painting, in 1625.^ 

' Harrison's Ainials of an old Manor- ^ This lady's name was Joan — not 

House. Elizabeth. She married Peter de Mar- 

' S.P. Foreign, France, vol. iv. no. tigni, lord of Eteves, captain of Philip- 

178. The existence of the original peville. 
device was not known to Mr. Christie. 



Dorothy, second daughter and coheiress of Sir John 
Luttrell, was twelve years of age at the time of his 
death. She married Humphrey White, citizen and 
merchant tailor of London. ^ 

Mary, third daughter and coheiress of Sir John Lut- 
trell, was nine years of age at the time of his death. 
She married Henry Shelley of Mapledurham, in 
Hampshire, a cousin of Sir Thomas Copley, and also 
a Popish Recusant. ^ 

The two younger daughters of Sir John Luttrell re- 
ceived a great bowl apiece under the will of their 
grandmother. Dame Catherine Edgcumbe, and a gold 
ring with a death's head and an enamelled motto under 
that of their brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Copley. ' 
They survived their respective husbands, and were 
living as widows in 1595, long after selling their 
rights in the Dunster estate to their uncle, Thomas 
Luttrell, the male representative of the family. * 

• D.C.M. (Prynne's list) xxxviii. 77, 
80; Letters of Sir Thomas Copley, pp. 88, 
183, 188. 

^ Weaver's Visitations of Somerset, 
p. 43; Inner Temple Records vol. i. p. Iv; 
D.C.M. II. 18. 

^ Somerset Medieval Wills, vol. Hi. 
p. 149 ; Letters of Sir Thomas Copley, 
p. 184. 

* Chancery Proceedings, Eliz. LI. 
4, no. 5. 


The Luttrells of Dunster 
1551 — 1644. 

Thomas Luttrell, second son of Sir Andrew Lut- 
trell, served under his brother Sir John in Scotland, 
and assisted him by collecting men and money for the 
war. ^ In November i 548, it was falsely reported that 
he had been killed in a fight at Dundee. ^ According 
to the terms of the will of his brother, he should 
have succeeded to all his landed property. ^ The laws 
of the realm, however, required that a third of it should 
be reserved for the daughters and coheirs of the 
testator. * Furthermore, under various family settle- 
ments, his mother, Dame Margaret Luttrell, had for 
her life the manors of East Quantockshead, Iveton, 
Vexford, Radlet, Carhampton and Rodhuish ; the 
manor of Minehead was in the hands of trustees 
charged to raise out of it the portions of the younger 
children of Sir Andrew ; and Dame Mary Luttrell, 
his sister-in-law, had for her life the castle and 
borough of Dunster and the manor of Kilton. The 
property that actually passed to Thomas Luttrell, in 
I 551, was consequently very small. In the course 

' state Papers, Scotland, Edw. VI. » S.P. Scotland, Edvv. VI. vol. iv. 

vol. iv. no. 14 ; Acts of the Privy Conn- no. 114. 

cil N.S. vol. ii. p. 245 ; Hist. MSS. ^ p.c.C. Bucke. f. 37. 

Comm. Report on Rutland MSS. vol. iv. * St. 32 Hen. VIII. c. i ; 34 & 35 

p. 204 ; D.C.M. III. 3 ; xxxvil. 29. Hen. VIII. c. 5. 


of a few years, however, he managed to buy up some 
of the rights of his sister-in-law, and the reversionary 
rights of her three daughters and their respective 
husbands. ^ 

In order to do this, he had to sell Stonehall and 
Woodhall, in Suffolk, and various outlying estates in 
the west of England. ^ On the other hand he con- 
solidated his property by the purchase of Hopcot, 
between Wootton Courtenay and Minehead. ^ He 
also acquired for himself and his successors a consider- 
able inheritance in the neighbourhood of Dunster, by 
marrying his cousin Margaret, daughter and eventual 
heiress of Christopher Hadley of Withycombe. One 
of her direct ancestors had married the heiress of the 
Durboroughs of Heathfield, and a previous Durborough 
had married a coheiress of the Fitzurses of Williton 
and Withycombe. She accordingly brought to her 
husband the manors of Heathfield, Williton Hadley, 
and Withycombe Hadley, and lands in various parishes 
in West Somerset. * 

The date and the exact circumstances of the mar- 
riage are not recorded, but we may fairly suppose it 
to have taken place in the reign of Edward the 
Sixth, when ecclesiastical discipline was somewhat 
lax. The validity of it was evidently challenged in 
the stricter reign of Philip and Mary, for the parties 
found it desirable to have recourse to Rome. A 
solemn document issued by the Cardinal of St. Angelo, 
Papal Penitentiary, at St. Peter's, on the 28th of 
November 1558, recites that Thomas Luttrell esquire 

* D.C.M. II. 16, 18; XIV. 1-5, II, 13, * D.C.M. XXXVI. 8. In a lease of 

16 ; XXIV. 15 ; XXIX. 38 ; xxxviii. 'j'], 79, Hopcot granted by him, he reserved 

80. Feet of Fines, Somerset, Hilary all hawks, pheasants and partridges, 

and Easter 6 Eliz ; Trinity 7 Eliz. Inq. post mortem, Wards & Liveries, 

Notes of Fines, Easter 10 Eliz ; Mich. 13 (113). 

II Ehz. *■ Memoranda Roll, 4 Eliz. part 4, 

2 D.C.M. xxxviii. 81, 84. m. 66. 

1 68 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. v. 

and Margaret Hadley had by their petition confessed 
that they had, without proper dispensation, been 
actually married, although related in the third and 
third, and in the third and fourth degrees of kindred, 
and although spiritually related, the mother of Thomas 
having stood godmother to Margaret at her baptism 
or confirmation. The language of the document 
leaves it doubtful vsrhether the marriage had been 
solemnized in public and whether any issue had been 
actually born. Its effect, however, was to release the 
parties from the excommunication that they had 
incurred on condition of a fresh marriage " in the 
face of the church," and to legitimate any previous 
offspring. ' 

The relationship in blood between them can be best 
explained by two tables on the opposite page. The first 
shews kindred in the third and third degrees, and the 
second shews kindred in the third and fourth degrees. 

The dispensation, having been issued a few days 
after the accession of Elizabeth, was probably one of 
the very latest documents of the sort that was des- 
patched before the final breach between England and 
Rome, and the sequel is perhaps the most curious 
part of the story. For nearly two years no further 
action was taken in the matter, but on the 27th of 
August 1560, Thomas Luttrell was solemnly married 
in the church of East Quantockshead, his bride being 
described in the register as " Mrs. Margaret Hadley. " 
Their eldest son, George Luttrell, was born in the 
following month. In the inscription on the monu- 
ment which he set up in memory of his parents, some 
sixty years later, it is expressly stated that they were 
" lawfully married. " 

' D.C.M. XXXVII. 26. 


In 1559, the growing town of Minehead received 
a royal charter of incorporation, the government 
being vested in a portreeve and twelve burgesses. ^ In 
1563, when it for the first time sent up members to 

Robert Hill. 

I I 

Sir Hugh Luttrell = Margaret. Giles Hill. 


Sir Andrew Luttrell. Christopher HadlevTrAnne. 

I—' 1 ^ 

Thomas Luttrell. Margaret Hadley. 

Sir James Luttrell == Elizabeth Courtenay=Sir Humphrey Audley. 

I i 

Sir Hugh Luttrell. Richard Hadley =Philippa 


Sir Andrew Luttrell. James Hadley 


Thomas Luttrell. Christopher Hadley. 


Margaret Hadley. 

Parliament, Thomas Luttrell, the lord of the manor, 
was one of the two elected. ^ He and his tenants at 
Minehead resolved to make a new quay or pier there, 

' Patent Roll, i Eliz. This is clearly an error. (S. P. Dom. 

* Return of Mcvibers of Parliament, Eliz. vol. Ixxvii. no. 44.) Fitz William 

vol. i. p. 405. Thomas Fitzwilliam and and Fowler were the members for 

John Fowler are stated to have sat for Weymouth. (Return of Members of 

Minehead in the Parliament of 1559. Parliament, vol. i. p. 400.) 
(Willis" Notitia Parliamentaria, p. 66.) 



and, in the last year of his life, he penned a circular 
letter to his neighbours, friends and " well willers, " 
inviting them to contribute to the work, which, he 
considered, would be very useful to the country. ^ He 
was appointed Sheriff of Somerset in the autumn of 

Although Thomas Luttrell was constantly at Dun- 
ster transacting business, he did not actually reside 
there. He is described as " Thomas Luttrell of 
Marshwood " in some legal proceedings with regard 
to treasure trove in the Hundred of Carhampton. 
The main facts of the case may be given briefly. A 
certain Agnes Ellesworth, the wife of Richard Elles- 
worth the elder " of Imbercombe, husbandman, " was 
delivered of a still-born child, in the month of May 
1559, at Owl Knowle in the parish of Carhampton, 
a house which he presumably rented from Thomas 
Trevelyan. In digging a grave hard by, wherein to 
bury the body,she suddenly came upon a great quantity 
of gold coins sufficient, it was estimated, to fill a " wyne 
quart " less a quarter of a " wyne pynte. " After giving 
a few to two female friends who were with her at the 
time, she put the rest into a " trene dysshe " (wooden 
dish) and so handed them over to her husband on his 
return. They consisted of " old nobles, " " half old 
nobles, " and " quarter old nobles, " and Richard 
Ellesworth, reckoning the noble at i y. 4^. estimated 
their value at 107/. ioj. When a report of their 
discovery reached Thomas Luttrell, he laid claim to 
them as treasure trove in his Hundred of Carhampton, 
but satisfied himself with coins to the value of 1 00/. 
The finder was not, however, suffered to keep the 
remainder, and they were handed over, in May 1560, 

• D.C.M. XXIX. 34. 


to Sir Thomas Parry, Treasurer of the Queen's 
Household. Then began tedious proceedings in the 
Exchequer, the Attorney General putting forward the 
right of the Crown and Thomas Luttrell defending 
his own claim, to be supported by extracts from court 
rolls and bailliffs' accounts. Eventually the case was 
set down for trial before the justices of assize at Chard 
in July 1564.^ Here the story ends abruptly. There 
is no record of the judgment, which was to have been 
entered at the Exchequer in Michaelmas term. Per- 
haps the Crown withdrew its claim. Anyhow, the 
Luttrells have maintained theirs ever since, and it is 
interesting to note that there are now at Dunster 
Castle a number of nobles, half-nobles and angels of 
the reign of Edward the Fourth, which are presum- 
ably the remains of the hoard found at Owl Knowle in 


Thomas Luttrell died on the 1 6th of January 1571, 
and was buried at Dunster on the 6th of February. 
By Margaret his wife, mentioned above, he had issue 
three sons and as many daughters ; — 

George, his heir. 

John, of South Mapperton in Dorset. 

Andrew, baptized at Dunster on the 14th of October 
1569. He died without issue. 



Mary, baptized at Dunster on the iith of October 
1567, and mentioned in the will of her grand- 
mother, Dame Margaret Luttrell, in 1580.^ She 
married, as his second wife. Sir Robert Strode of 
Parnham in Dorset, son of her stepfather. ^ 

' Memoranda Roll, K. R. Trinity 3 vi. p. 15. 
Eliz. 20, 56 ; D.C.M. xxxi. 18. ^ Hutchins's History of Dorset, vol. ii. 

- Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. p. 130. 


Margaret Luttrell, the relict of Thomas, received 
dower out of her husband's lands. ^ On the 28th of 
January 1572, when her year of mourning was just 
over, she was married at East Quantockshead to John 
Strode of Parnham. He died some ten years later 
and, in 1587, she married a third husband, Richard 
Hill, who had been her ' servant, ' probably her 
agent. ^ He was knighted after her death, which 
occurred at Luxborough on the 30th of September 
1607. ^ 

George Luttrell, the eldest son of Thomas and 
Margaret, was born about the 1 2th of September 
1560, and was consequently under eleven years of age 
at the death of his father. * His wardship pertaining 
to the Crown was soon sold to Hugh Stewkley of 
Marshtown near Dunster, who put him to school 
with a certain Mr. Brebrooke. While he was still 
quite young, he was given the choice of his guardian's 
two daughters, Joan and Susan, and he selected the 
former, who was about two years younger than himself. 
In October 1575, the young couple were solemnly 
contracted at Marsh " by words of the present time, " 
he taking her by the hand and saying : — " I, George, 
take thee, Joan, to my wedded wife, and thereto I 
give thee my faith and troth. " Hugh Stewkley was 
careful that there should be witnesses of the ceremony 
and that they should put their names to a written 
memorial of it. ^ 

In July 1576, when George Luttrell was nearly 
sixteen, he was admitted a Fellow Commoner at 
Caius College, Cambridge, and was given a cubicle 

• D.C.M. II. 22, 23. 3 D.C.M. XXXII. ^2. 

» Ihid. XIV. 23 ; XXXII. 49, 54 ; Chan- " Inq. post mortem, C. Ii, 159, no. 43. 

eery Proceedings, Eliz. LI. 11, no. 67. * D.C.M. xxxviii. 88. 


in the Master's Lodging. ^ From Cambridge he 
wrote in the following year that he fully intended to 
marry his cousin, Joan Stewkley, hoping thereby to 
put an end to the " brablings " between her father 
and his grandmother, Dame Margaret Luttrell. The 
project was, however, strongly opposed both by her 
and by his step-father John Strode. The old lady 
declared that he would be " utterly cast away " if he 
were to marry the daughter of the miserly lawyer 
who had so often thwarted the Luttrells, and she 
threatened that if her wishes were disregarded, she 
would leave away the Priory of Dunster from her 
grandson, and so make him " a poor gentleman. " 
A match in Wales was suggested as an alternative, and 
Sir James Fitzjames, who wished to secure the 
young heir for his own niece, did not scruple to say 
that Joan Stewkley was " a slutte and that she had no 
good qualities. " ^ 

By a will dated the 9th of March 1580, Dame Mar- 
garet Luttrell bequeathed to her grandson, George 
Luttrell, the hanging of arras that had been made for 
the parlour at Dunster, two bowls of silver gilt, a 
drinking cup of silver gilt that had belonged to his 
father, two spoons and a salt, and, furthermore, the 
Priory of Dunster with all the lands and profits belong- 
ing thereto. ^ She died on the 7th of July in that 
year and was buried beside her husband at East 
Quantockshead. All effective opposition being thus 
at an end, George Luttrell was duly married to Joan 
Stewkley at Dunster on the 25th of September 1580, 
he being then just over twenty years of age. He was ad- 
mitted a member of Gray's Inn in the following month. 

^ Venn's History of Gonvillc and ^ Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. 

Cains College, vol. i, p. 87. vi. p. 15. 

2 D.C.M. XXXVIII. 88. 


In 1584, we find George Luttrell undertaking to 
let his mother, Margaret Strode, have " one fee bucke 
of season in the summer, and one fee doe in the 
winter" from his park at Dunster or from that at East 
Quantockshead at her choice. ^ Kilton fell to him 
on the death of Dame Mary Luttrell in 1588, and 
on the death of his mother, in 1607, he succeeded to 
the lands which she held in dower and to the Hadley 

George Luttrell was returned to Parliament as one 
of the members for Minehead in i 584, but he did not 
cultivate the friendly relations with the borough that 
had usually subsisted in his father's time. It was 
doubtless at his instance that a royal commission was 
appointed, in 1 601, to enquire whether the Portreeve 
and burgesses had maintained the port as required. 
The report being unfavourable, their charter was 
abrogated in the early part of the reign of James the 
First and the corporation ceased to exist. ^ Not satis- 
fied with this, George Luttrell wished Minehead to 
be disfranchised. There is a draft petition from him 
to the House of Commons stating that the town " did 
never choose anie burgesses for the Parlyment, as 
appeareth by record, untill the fifte yeare of the raigne 
of the late memorable Queene Elizabeth " and con- 
tending that it would be " a great indignitie " to that 
"honorable assemblie " that burgesses should be chosen 
" without legal power and authoritie. " He could 
hardly have foreseen that his descendants would derive 
influence and profit from their connexion with the 
borough of Minehead. 

In 1583 and in 1586, he was required to provide 
a demilance and two light horsemen for the service of 

' D.C.M. XIV. 24. Somerset, 1994 ; Memoranda Roll, 

* Exchequer Special Commissions, K.R. Trin. i Jac. I. m. 25. 


the State. ^ How he avoided the burden of knight- 
hood does not appear. He was appointed Sheriff of 
Somerset in 1593 and again in 1609. ^ According to 
tradition, he was " much noted for his hospitahty and 
the general love and respect of his neighbours. " ^ 
Contemporary documents, however, show him to have 
been exceedingly litigious. At some period of his life, 
he must have spent long days searching the records 
in London for evidence in support of his feudal rights 
over the manors and lands pertaining to the Honour 
of Dunster. His early legal training had made him 
very observant of minute points, and he left behind 
him a quantity of ill-written notes about rents, bound- 
aries, and the like. It would be tedious to enumerate 
the different suits in which he was engaged against 
his father-in-law, his aunt, his tenants, his neighbours, 
and his tradesmen. Two poachers who confessed 
that they had hunted, killed and taken some deer in 
his park at Dunster received a very severe sentence in 
the notorious Court of Star Chamber in 1597, being 
committed to the Fleet Prison for three months, 
required to find security for good behaviour for seven 
years, and ordered to pay no less than 100/. apiece 
as a fine to the Crown. * 

George Luttrell deserves to be remembered as a 
builder. At Dunster, he converted part of the lower 
ward of the Castle into a Jacobean mansion, he altered 
the house now known as the Luttrell Arms Hotels 
and he built the picturesque market-house. At East 
Quantockshead, he greatly enlarged the manor house, 
altering it so materially that the old plan cannot easily 
be traced. At Marshwood, he appears to have renov- 

1 Green's Somerset & the Armada, * Palmer MS. at St. Audries. 

pp. 34, 70. * D.C.M. XIV. 39. 

' List of Sheriffs, p. 124, 125. 


ated the house for his married son. At Minehead, 
in 1 6 1 6, he built a pier afterwards known as ' the Old 
Quay, ' at a cost of about 5000/, the townsmen having 
forfeited their charter of incorporation, as mentioned 
above. ' 

There is at Dunster Castle a portrait of George 
Luttrell painted on panel in 1 594, in the thirty-fourth 
year of his age. He is represented in black brocade 
with a metal belt round the waist, a large ruff and 
white cuffs. The face is not unlike that of his uncle. 
Sir John Luttrell, as depicted by Lucas d'Heere. ^ 

George Luttrell died on the ist of April 1629, 
and was buried at Dunster on the 23rd. Joan his 
wife, already mentioned, had predeceased him and 
had been buried, on the 22nd of November 1621, 
in the Priory Church of Dunster, near her parents the 
Stewkleys, in accordance with a will made by consent 
of her husband. ^ They had issue five sons and seven 
daughters : — 

Thomas, heir to his father. 

Hugh, of Rodhuish. 

George, baptized at Dunster on the 12th of October 
1590. He matriculated at Lincoln College, Ox- 
ford, in 1608, and afterwards became a student of 
Gray's Inn. He was buried at Dunster, on the 
30th of December 1619. 

John, baptized at Dunster on the 5th of January i 592. 
He matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 
1608. He was living in 1620. 

Andrew, baptized at Dunster on the 6th of June 1596 
and buried there four days later. 

' Hancock's Minehead, pp. 284, 286. picture. 

' It may be noticed that the tinctures » Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. 

of the Luttrell arms are given wrongly vi. p. i6. 
in the shield in the corner of the 




Margaret, baptized at East Quantockshead on the 
1 1 th of October 1584. She married at Dunster, 
on the 3rd of August 1607, John Trevelyan of 
Nettlecombe. ^ 

Catherine, baptized at Dunster on the i8th of April 
1589. She married there, on the 4th of August 
1 607, the morrow of her sister's wedding, Lewis 
Pyne of East Down, in Devonshire. 

EHzabeth, baptized at Dunster on the 23rd of March 

1593, and buried there on the 21st of May 1595. 
Susan, baptized at Dunster on the 9th of October 

1594. She married there, on the 29th of June 
1 61 2, John Francis of Combe Florey. ^ 

Elizabeth, baptized at Dunster on the 3rd of October 
1598. In March i62i[-2], George Luttrell, her 
father, made a formal declaration that he was willing 
that she should have the sum of i ,400/. bequeathed 
to her by her mother Joan, provided that she did 
not marry a Popish Recusant or the son of a Popish 
Recusant, or any other without his own consent, 
or, after his death, the consent of Thomas Wyndham 
of Kentsford, John Francis and Richard Worth, or 
two of them. In the event of her disregarding this 
injunction, the money was to be divided between 
her nieces named Trevelyan and her brother-in-law 
John Francis. ^ She nevertheless married, in that 
year, Thomas Arundel of Chideock in Dorset, a 
member of a noted Roman Catholic family. 

Sarah, baptized at Dunster on the 3rd of April 1600. 
She inherited 200/. from her mother, and in her 
case George Luttrell did not think it necessary to 
make any stipulation about the choice of a hus- 
band. * She married at Dunster, on the 9th of 

' D.C.M. XXXVIII. 93 (Prynne). ' D.C.M. xxxviii. 97. 

» Ibid, xxxviii. 95. * D.C.M. xxxviii. 97, 98. 


February 1625, Edmund Bowyer of Beer near Can- 
nington. ^ She was buried at Stockland, on the 
17th of May 1664. 
Mary, buried at Dunster on the 24th of March 1608. 

About ten months after the death of his wife, 
George Luttrell of Dunster Castle was married at East 
Quantockshead, on the 3rd of October 1622, to "an 
obscure person, " Silvestra daughter of James Capps 
of Jews in the parish of Wiveliscombe. She was 
the mother of Sarah Luttrell alias Capps, and Diana 
Luttrell alias Capps, for both of whom he made ample 
provision in his lifetime and to each of whom he 
bequeathed 500/. at the age of twenty-one or on mar- 
riage.^ The former married Alexander Keynes. The 
latter married John Wogan, of Pembrokeshire, at East 
Quantockshead, in 1634, and married secondly Alexan- 
der Lynde. ^ Silvestra Luttrell had for her jointure the 
manors of Kilton and East Quantockshead.* A leaden 
pipe-head at the latter place bears her initials with those 
of her husband, and the date 1 628. ^ The whole house 
had apparently been altered for her benefit. The arms 
of Luttrell impaling those of Capps are also to be seen 
at the LiUttrell Arms Hotel at Dunster. Some nine 
months after the death of her husband, on the 15th 
of January, 1630, Silvestra Luttrell was married at 
East Quantockshead to Sir Edmund Skory. The 
union did not prove happy, as appears by his will 
dated the 4th of May 1632. By this he bequeaths 
20J. " to Giles Baker, my servant, who hath lived 
under the tyranny of my wife, to the danger of his 

' Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. Hancock's Minchead,p. 213, whereihe 

iv. p. 82. name is wrongly given as Lyne and 

" Ibid. vol. vi. p. 17 ; D.C.M. xxxvili. Lyde. 

100. * D.C.M. III. 5 ; xxiii. 45. 

* D.C.M. III. 12 ; XXXVIII. 103, 104 ; ^ See the woodcut on page 185. 


life, during the space of two years. " He also be- 
queaths " to Dame Silvestre Skory, my wife, whom I 
hartely forgive all her wicked attempts against mee, 
a praier booke called 'The Practice of Piety, desiring 
that she better love and affect the same than hitherto 
she hath done. " The widow tried in vain to prove 
that the testator was of unsound mind. ^ Nevertheless 
she secured a third husband in the person of Giles 
Penny, whom she married at East Quantockshead in 
1634. Her stepson, Thomas Luttrell, bore her no 
love, and brought a suit against her for damage to his 
deer and timber at East Quantockshead. ^ She was 
in possession of the manor-house there as late as the 
year 1655, having survived the son and the grandson 
of her first husband. ^ 

Thomas Luttrell, son and heir of George, was 
baptized at Dunster, on the 26th of February 1584. He 
matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, in i 597 and 
became B.A. in 1599. He was admitted a student 
of Lincoln's Inn in 1604. He did not marry until 
1 62 1, when he took to wife Jane, daughter of Sir 
Francis Popham, of Littlecote, in Wiltshire, an active 
politician. * The arms of Luttrell, impaled with 
those of Popham may be seen at Marshwood, and it 
is probable that Thomas Luttrell lived there until the 
death of his father in 1629. He was returned 
Member for Minehead in 1625, but at subsequent 
elections his influence there seems to have been exert- 
ed in favour of different members of his wife's family, 
who espoused the Parliamentary side in the reign of 
Charles the First. ^ He was Sheriff of Somerset in 

' Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. v. ^ P.C.C. Aylett, f. 185. 

p. 66. ^ D.C.M. III. 4, 6. 

^ Chancery Proceedings, Series II. * Dictionary of National Biography, 

bundle 408, no. 43. vol. xlvi. p. 143. 


1631. ^ In 1633, we find him associated with other 
justices of the peace for the county in a protest against 
the revival of church-ales, clerk-ales and revels. ^ 

Some nine years later, he further displayed his 
poUtical sympathies by committing to prison at Mine- 
head a notable fugitive, Roger Manwaring, Bishop of 
St. David's, who had given offence by his advocacy 
of absolutist views. ^ 

At the very outset of the Civil War in August 
1642, the Marquess of Hertford went to Somerset to 
organize the militia for the King, but the county rose 
against him and drove him from Wells to Sherborne. 
This place in turn he found to be untenable, and while 
negotiating, or pretending to negotiate, for a surrend- 
er, he broke out with about four hundred followers, 
on the 19th of September, and directed his course to 
Minehead.* The Earl of Bedford, commanding for 
the Parliament, at once issued warrants for the appre- 
hension of any of the party, and sent off posts to 
Thomas Luttrell, bidding him strengthen and make 
good his castle at Dunster.'^ This order was promptly 
obeyed, and Thomas Luttrell increased his garrison by 
a hundred men. Anticipating moreover that the 
Royalists would endeavour to cross over to Wales, he 
caused the rudders of all the ships in Minehead har- 
bour to be removed. *^ 

On arriving at Minehead, Lord Hertford fortified 
himself in a " strong inn, " and then despatched sixty 
of Sir Ralph Hopton's men to demand entrance into 
Dunster Castle. They met, however, with a peremp- 
tory refusal, and as, after some parley, they would not 

' List of Sheriffs, p. 125. xxxvi. p. 104. 

* S. P. Dom. Charles I. vol. 255, * England's Memorable Accidents. 

no. 3Q. s Special Passages. 

^ Hist. MSS. Comm. Report V. p. 35; « England's Memorable Accidents. 
Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 


go away, Mrs. Luttrell commanded the men within 
the Castle to " give fire. " It was in vain that the 
Royalist officer ordered them to disregard her, and 
when Mrs. Luttrell again commanded them " upon 
their lives to do it, " they opened fire, and the cava- 
liers beat a hasty retreat. ^ 

Eventually, the King's infantry and artillery escaped 
in some coalships to Wales, while the cavalry went 
further westward. The Parliamentary party were, 
however, apprehensive that the Royalists would return 
suddenly, and by surprise get possession of Dunster 
Castle, from which it was thought that ten thousand 
men could hardly dislodge them. Proposals were 
accordingly made for raising horse and foot to guard 
it, but the " very thoughts " of such a measure caused 
the peaceable men of Minehead to give a very cold 
reception to Lord Bedford when he arrived in pursuit. 
He himself took up his quarters at Dunster Castle for 
a short time. ^ 

Lord Hertford was much vexed at his " disastrous 
fortune at Minieard and Dunster " and wrote a sting- 
ing letter to Sir Ralph Hopton, attributing it to the 
" evill dispositions and cowardly behaviour " of the 
west-countrymen serving under him, under Captain 
Digby and under Sir John Stawell, who ran away, 
endangering the persons of their officers and all the 
ordnance. Sir Ralph in reply vindicated the courage 
of his men, declaring that they would not " runne or 
give one foot of ground " to any foreign invader, but 
that it was " not warrantable by God's lawes " for 
men to fight against their own kindred.' As the Civil 
War progressed, he must have found it necessary to 
modify his humane and peaceable sentiments. 

» special Passages. 304. 3o8 ; Special Passages. 

' Hist. MSS. Comm. Report iv. pp. * New plots discovered. 

iSz A HISTORY Ok DLNSTi^R. catv. 

Earlf in Janoaij 1643;, die Wek hm cn gzvc luiylA 
oo the coast Ob SoomsetL SWiic. <k tfirin ItMMkjMlcd 
Minciicad Imbom; and, b^ jpuLU J Htu^ tlie cnby of 
any Aqpscir boats, a to p f rf the SByp^rfpwmacMg and 
coaL Otfaors, abont five hambi il in nnmbcr, a- itr 
Captain P^nkt, landed dicic; *■ invaded "* tlic CE - 
and ** < ■■Muin ed tlie inUntants to yedd tc 
taxation and to snbant tnenBeivcs ULivjuts and : 
to cvoy poor, baae Gon^nmon, to save tlicir it.' 
firoaa bei]^ cnt. ^ Thas party nnde an allaik _ : 

DnnsiEr ^^^'^ 'fc^'*^ ''^^'"™"^^' ''^^^'^ *^ ^ 

able to lepafac tncm and sccmc tne feonnt 
The figpiting cannot bave bceniivrr se ' 
fin- wbcn a shot fiom the Casde kiZzc 
aaoifanis^ Captam Pnlet was mc t : 
vuwLd that be wunid ii|wanrii' the z. 
his fimfas on the battlonenls as £: : 
point of £a£t he moved on to Ri 
hnndiid nHwtirlieeis and fivtr Ik^t: : 

In May 1643, we find The-- L 
pns fin- his niece Mirrrrrrt T 
feDWaks,aid ~r i 

hnvlMnilj George T:: tam. 

fir his ddinc- fz ~ 
nBooedMnoe u ^ ' ; ' ~ : ; 

--.':- ne 


to honnr 

to icpuit tha: 

to deliver u: 

thesBOgt : 

(S5L£)i ?. 4d-. 


Clarendon relates that, in the middle of Jane 1643, 
the Marquess of Hertford obtained possessioo of 
Taunton and Brideewater in three davs, and pro- 
ceeds : — 

J^jric+2T- CsStIc S-? 

. W.S- = KJ. 

:— t- :.:\i ~:-:z- :: : ! > l_::T:e . was, with as li'zLt 
r : 1 f r : r : t : r - t r : e i - - : the King ; inio 
vr - : : T ..":_: 7 , : . "_z: i:ii_: ic^o i .: as Governor, as 

Thomas Luttrell was moreover compelled to pav a 
large sum, either as i :r i r>roof of derodoo 
to the Rovalist cause. There ls at Dunster a signi- 
ficant httle receipt as follows : — 

" xxiij'* die Junii 1643. Receavcd the day and jeare 
above written to his Magesdes use fay me Edward Kjrton, 
Esq. Treasorar for the annj under the comaund of the r^;fat 
honorable the Marquesse of Hertfiird, Liftenant General! c^ 
his Msgesties forces in the wes^c^Thnnas Luttrdl ofDunstar 
Castle in the countr of Scxnerset, Esq. die simimr of five 
hundred powndes, in part of payment of the summe or one 
thousand powndes which the said Mr. Luttrdl is to pay 
towardes the charge of the said army. I say recezved, Edw. 

Whether Thomas Luttrell was after this ^j- -": " 
remain in his own castle does not appear. ~- : . .:. 
few months later, and was buried at Dunster on the 
7th of February 1 644- There is at Dunster Castle a 
portrait on panel dating firom the later part of the reign 
of James the First, which probabhr represents this 
Thonias Luttrell. The subject of it has k>ng hair and 
a short beard. He is attired in a h'ght green doublet 
and trunk hose, with a falling collar edged with lace, 

» Hisimy ^flte ftfcrftiiB. fed, rtift ^oL ir. p>. iml 

1 84 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. v. 

and white cuffs. There is a black hat under the right 
arm and a sword under the other. Thomas and Jane 
Luttrell had issue four sons and a daughter : — 

Alexander, born in 1622 and so called after his uncle 
Alexander Popham. He matriculated at Lincoln 
College, Oxford, in 1637, and, while still under 
age, was elected to represent Minehead in the 
Parliament of 1640, but he died before his father, 
some two or three years later. 

George, heir to his father. 

Thomas, baptized at Dunster on the 8th of March 

1627, and buried there on the 2nd of April. 
Francis, baptized at Dunster on the ist of November 

1 628, and so called after his grandfather. Sir Francis 
Popham. He eventually succeeded his brother 

Amy, baptized at Dunster, on the 26th of June 1630. 
She married firstly Thomas Hele of South Petherton, 
and secondly George Reynell of Kingsbridge, in 
Devonshire. ^ 

Within a few days of the death of Thomas Luttrell, 
his relict was compelled to pay a large sum to the 
Crown, as appears by the following receipt : — 

" 13th February 1643. Then received of Mrs. Jane 
Luttrell the summe of fiveteene hundred pounds, as see 
much due to his Majestie for the fjne of her selfe and her 
two sonnes ; I say received for his Majestie's service the 
day and yeere above written the summe of 1500, by me 
Francis Hawley. " 

The person who gave it was merely an officer in the 
Royalist Army, but the payment might possibly be 
regarded as the purchase money for the wardship of 

• Somerset & Dorset Notes & Queries, vol. ii. p. 230. 



the heir of the Dunster estate, who was a minor at the 
time of his father's death. A few weeks later, there 
is another acquittance : — 

"25*° die Marcii 1644, anno regni Regis Caroli 19°. 
Receaved then of Mistriss Jane Luttrell the summe of three 
score pownds in parte of payment of one hundred pownds 
which she was to pay by way of loane upon His Majestie's 
lettre in the nature of a privie seale for His Majestie's 
service. I say receaved. Per me William Prowse, deput' 
vicecomitis. " 

Jane Luttrell must have been loth indeed to furnish 
money for the party which she and her relations had 
so steadily opposed. In later and happier times, she 
lived at Marshwood, where she hoarded her savings, 
as will appear hereafter. She was buried at Dunster 
in November 1668. 



The Luttrells of Dunster 
1644— 1737. 

George Luttrell, son and successor of Thomas, was 
baptized at Dunster on the 12th of September 1625. 
Nothing is known about him in his early years, but 
it may safely be assumed that his mother would not 
have allowed him to go to Oxford to mix with young 
Cavaliers. At the time of his father's death, Dunster 
Castle was occupied by a royalist garrison, and the 
manor-house at East Quantockshead was in the pos- 
session of Lady Skory, no friend to the Luttrells. A 
smaller house at Marshwood was, however, available 
for the widow and her children. 

In the middle of May 1645, Charles the First gave 
orders that the Prince of Wales should take up his 
residence for a while at Dunster Castle, to "encourage 
the new levies," it being "not known at Court that 
the plague, which had driven him from Bristol, was 
as hot in Dunster town, just under the walls of the 
Castle. " ^ Clarendon's statement to this effect is 
strikingly confirmed by the parish register which 
records the burial of no less than eighty persons at 
Dunster in that very month. Two of them are 
described as * soldiers, ' from which it may be inferred 
that the Castle itself, isolated from the town beneath 

' Clarendon's History of (he Rebellion, (ed. 1826) vol. v. p. 189. 


it, was not free from the prevailing sickness. At 
Minehead the death rate in 1645 was about five times 
that of a normal year. ^ The inhabitants of a long 
street in Dunster are said to have established com- 
munications between their respective houses by making 
openings in the party walls, " so as to avoid all 
necessity of going into the open street, " whose air 
was considered dangerous to life. ^ The Prince, who 
was then just fifteen years of age, occupied a small 
room within the room at the south-western end of 
the Gallery in Dunster Castle. ^ After about a fort- 
night, he procceeded to Barnstaple. The church- 
wardens' accounts of Minehead for this year contain 
the following entries : — 

" Given the ringers in beere at severall tymes when the 
Prince and other great men came into the towne, 14J. 

" Paid the Prince's footman, which he claymed as due to 
him for his fee, ^s. dd. " 

At that juncture it might have been imprudent to 
Ignore the Prince's visit. Less than four months after- 
wards there is an entry in the same book which 
reflects more faithfully the state of public opinion at 
Minehead : — 

" Paid the ringers when BristoU was taken, 35. " 

After the reverses of the Royalist party atLangport, 
Taunton, and Bridgewater, in the summer of 1645, 
Dunster Castle remained the only place held for the 
King in Somerset, but, being isolated, it was harmless 
except as a source of annoyance to the immediate 
neighbourhood. As it was desirable to stop even this 

* Savage's Hundred of Carhampton, so serious as to call for charitable aid 

p. 590. from other places in the country. Pro- 

^ Archaeological Journal, vol. xv. p. ceedings of the Somerset Archceological 

388. There had been a previous out- Society, vol. xxxviii. p. 73. 

break of the plague at Dunster in 1611, ' See Chapter XI. 

1 88 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

power, Colonel Blake and Colonel Sydenham, taking 
a small party from Taunton, laid siege to it early in 
November, and by the 6th had so completely blocked it 
that its surrender seemed certain, if it were not taken 
by surprise. Neither of these expectations was 
realised, for the besieged held out, although by the 
end of the month they were said to be straitened for 
provisions and suffering sadly from want of water. It 
was reported that Colonel Francis Wyndham, the 
Governor, about the 20th of November, wrote to 
Lord Goring, then commanding the King's forces in 
Devon, that he could hold out but a fortnight or three 
weeks longer, and that he was only enabled to do that 
through having secured a good supply of water from 
some late heavy rains. ^ He at least wrote for aid, as 
in response, Goring sent some foot to Bideford, to be 
forwarded to Dunster by sea, and a party of horse 
was got in readiness to march by land to protect them 
on arrival. ^ But, not getting their promised pay at 
Bideford, and finding they were to be out for more 
than the twenty days agreed for with Lord Hopton, 
they deserted and ran away. Sir Richard Grenville 
went after them at once to bring them back, but the 
plan for this time resulted in failure. ^ The design 
becoming known. Sir Thomas Fairfax stationed some 
men to command the road and prevent or check the 
repetition of any similar attempt. Thus when another 
party endeavoured to pass early in December, the 
troops who were guarding the roads about Tiverton 
and Crediton, encountered them and compelled them 
to return. ^ 

Meanwhile Colonel Blake had repeatedly summoned 
the Governor to surrender, but always receiving a 

1 Perfect Passages, No. 56. ^ Moderate Intelligencer, No. 38. 

* Perfect Diurnal, No. 125. * Weekly Account. 


curt refusal, he had pushed forward his approaches 
and batteries and worked busily at his mines, as these 
were " next to determine the business. " ^ A sum- 
mons was again sent in, this time accompanied by a 
threat that the Castle would be stormed if it were not 
surrendered. Colonel Wyndham replied that as he had 
formerly announced his intention to keep his charge 
to his utmost, so he was still and would continue 
semper idem — always the same. 

At the very end of December 1645, or about the 
I St of January 1646, a story was circulated by the 
royalist party at Oxford, on the reported authority of 
two men supposed to have come from Dunster, that 
the Castle was relieved and the siege raised. The 
story was that the besiegers, having taken prisoner 
the Governor's mother, sent in their last summons 
thus — " If you will yet deliver up the Castle, you 
shall have faire quarter, if not, expect no mercy ; your 
mother shall be in the front, to receive the first fury 
of your canon : we expect your answer. " The 
Governor is supposed to reply, " If you doe what you 
threaten, you do the most barbarous and villanous 
act [that] was ever done ; my mother I honour : but 
the cause I fight for and the maisters I serve, God 
and the King, I honour more. Mother, do you for- 
give me and give me your blessing, and let the 
Rebells answer for spilling that blood of yours, which 
I would save with the losse of mine owne, if I had 
enough for both my master and yourselfe. " To this 
the mother is supposed to answer, " Sonne, I forgive 
thee, and pray God to blesse thee for this brave reso- 
lution ; if I live I shall love thee the better for it ; 
God's will be done. " The story then adds that just 

• Perfect Occurrences. 


at this moment there suddenly appeared Lord Went- 
worth, Sir Richard Grenville, and Colonel Webb, 
who, attacking the besiegers, killed many, took a 
thousand prisoners, rescued the mother, and relieved 
the Castle. ^ 

This report is here quoted from its original source; 
it has been often repeated since, but it was not true. 
The siege was not raised, the Castle was not relieved 
at this time, and the supposed chief actors in the 
affair were then in Cornwall or on the adjoining 
borders of Devon. ^ The Parliamentary party soon 
denounced the report as " alehouse intelligence " and 
a " feeble lie. " ' 

About the 6th of January 1646, Blake received a 
reinforcement of fifteen hundred horse, and these he 
quartered some five or six miles from the Castle, to 
keep a sharp watch on the Exeter road. * As relief 
was constantly attempted, these troopers had a very 
harassing task. The continuance of the siege and the 
frequent marches and countermarches at this time 
drew general attention towards Dunster. 

As the Governor seemed determined not to sur- 
render, Fairfax wrote to order Colonel Blake to 
proceed with the siege and spring his mines. ^ This 
he did on the 3rd of January, fully expecting to blow 
up the Castle. But the garrison, aware of what had 
been going on, had discovered one mine, and had 
spoilt it by countermining. Another was not fired 
or did not spring, whilst the third, although it ex- 
ploded fairly, only destroyed a part of the wall, 
causing a considerable breach, but making more noise 
than execution. ^ The road opened by it was alto- 

' Mercurius Academicns, No. 3. ■• Moderate Intelligencer, No. 44. 

* Mercurius Civicns, No. 136. ^ Perfect Passages, No. 63. 

* Mercurius Britannicns, No. 114. "^ Moderate Intelligencer, No. 44. 


gether too steep for approach, and proved so inacces- 
sible that the intended attack could not be made. 
To the defenders, however, nov^ very short of neces- 
saries, the breach proved a great annoyance, as they 
were put to double duty to keep their guards. In 
this emergency. Sir Richard Grenville wrote to 
Colonel Wyndham exhorting him to hold out yet a 
little longer and promising that help should certainly 
be sent. ^ Two regiments accordingly set out on the 
8 th of January, ostensibly to relieve Exeter, but really 
destined for Dunster. Their plan was either betrayed 
or discovered by their opponents, for some horse and 
foot were called from their winter quarters to watch 
them, and if necessary to go and strengthen Colonel 
Blake. Seeing that their enemy was thus prepared, 
and that relief was impossible, the Royalists once more 
retired, and the blockade of Dunster was continued 
without interruption until the end of January. 

The King's army being cooped up in Devon, the 
Parliamentary forces gathering in Somerset concluded 
that it was certainly trapped. A report, however, 
now came that Goring intended to break through 
the ring and get his whole force away. Orders were 
at once sent for the reserves in the rear to be ready 
to meet such a movement, and Major-General Massey 
busied himself with making preparations near Crew- 
kerne. ' Taking advantage of the attention of the 
Parliamentary force in Devon being given to this 
matter, a party of fifteen hundred horse and three 
hundred foot, sent by Lord Hopton under the com- 
mand of Colonel Finch, managed to reach Dunster, 
and on the 5 th of February relieved the Castle with 
four barrels of powder, thirty cows and fifty sheep. 

• Weekly Account, No. 2. * Perfect Passages, No. 65. 

192 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Having done this, they spoilt the mines and destroyed 
the works thrown up by the besiegers. Finding the 
reUeving party too strong for him, Colonel Blake on 
their arrival retired for protection into " a strong 
house ", possibly the Ship Inn, and remained there 
unmolested. As they left for Barnstaple, however, he 
sallied out on their rear and took fifty-three prisoners, 
but in turn got himself into an awkward position, 
from which he had some difficulty in making an 
honourable retreat without great loss. ^ 

A report was now circulated that the owner of the 
Castle, and others had offered to raise a thousand men 
to help the Parliamentary army in the west, ^ but 
Blake determined to continue the blockade until he 
could be strongly reinforced from the main army. 
From his local information he may have judged that 
this would soon be possible, as not long afterwards 
Exeter fell. Sir Thomas Fairfax then, with his usual 
energy, quickly moved off for fresh work, and on the 
8 th of April his army was camped around Chard, 
from whence he sent Colonel Lambert's regiment to 
strengthen the force before Dunster. ^ 

Colonel Blake had gone to meet the General, when, 
on Thursday night, the 1 6th of April, those in the 
Castle called to Captain Burridge, who was left in 
command, to know whether it were true, as some of 
his soldiers had stated, that Exeter and Barnstaple 
had both fallen. Captain Burridge " hearkening " to 
what was said, they asked to be allowed to send to 
Barnstaple for confirmation of the news, promising 
that if it were true they would capitulate. The 
Captain answered " that he would not by any false way 

' Perject Passages, No. 68 ; A Diary, ^ Moderate Intelligencer, No. 50. 

No. 3 ; Moderate, Intelligencer, No. 49 ; ^ /^^^ ]vjq_ ^g 

The Citties Weekly Post, No. 9. 


of smooth language goe about to begge their castle, " 
and offered himself as a hostage if they would give 
one of like rank whilst they sent for intelligence. He 
declared himself willing to forfeit his life if what he 
had said was not true, provided they would agree to 
surrender on a day named if all the news were con- 
firmed. Weak and reduced as the garrison now was, 
and barely able to defend more than the keep, this 
conversation " wrought so much upon them " that on 
Friday morning a request was again made for leave to 
send for intelligence. Notice having meantime arrived 
that Blake was returning, Captain Burridge desired 
them to have a little patience, inasmuch as they should 
get an answer from the Colonel himself. About noon 
Blake arrived, having with him Major-General Skip- 
pon's regiment and the remainder of his own. This 
force he drew up in two bodies on a hill facing the 
Castle, and, in accordance with orders given by Fairfax, 
he sent in another summons for surrender. ^ Deprived 
of all hope of relief, Colonel Wyndham in reply 
demanded a parley, the result of which was that, after 
having sustained a close siege of about a hundred and 
sixty days, with a loss of twenty men, he surrendered 
on the 19th of April, on the following conditions: — 

" I. That the Castle, together with the armes, ammuni- 
tion, and other ferniture of war (except what is hereunder 
excepted), be delivered up into the hands of the said Colonel 
Blake for his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, to the use of 
the King and Parliament. 

2. That all Commissioners Officers in the Castle shall 
march away with horses and armes and all other necessary 
accouterments appertaining. 

3. That common officers and souldiers, both horse and 
foot, shall march away with their armes and either horse or 
foot souldier shall have three charges of powder and bullet, 

' Sir Thomas Fairfax's further proceedings in the west. 

194 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

with three yards of match, for those that have matchlocks, 
together with colours and drums. 

4. That the said Colonell Windham shall carry with him 
all that is properly his, and that which doth properly belong 
to the Lady Windham shall be sent to her. 

5. That all officers and souldiers with all particular persons 
of the Castle shall march forth secure, as many as will, to 
Oxford without delay, and those who are otherwise minded 
shall lay down their armes and have Let-passes to their 
homes, or to any other places they shall desire with protection 
against the violence of the soldiers. 

6. That prisoners to either party be released. 

7. That the said Colonell Francis Windham and his 
souldiers march to Oxford in twelve daies. " ^ 

Under this agreement the Castle was delivered up 
on the 22nd of April. Six pieces of ordnance and 
two hundred stand of arms were all the booty found 
within it. Colonel Blake, writing from Taunton, on 
the 2ist of April, to report the event to the Parlia- 
ment, remarked that, at the price of time and blood, 
he could no doubt have obtained very different terms, 
but that he was induced to accept these, by his wish 
to follow the exemplary clemency of his general. 
" The place, " he said, was " strong and of importance 
for the passage into Ireland. " ^ A public thanks- 
giving was now ordered for the many and continued 
successes of the Parliamentary forces, Dunster being 
named in the list of places whose capture deserved 
especial emphasis. ' Minehead, too, rejoiced that her 
disagreeable neighbour had fallen, and " paid the 
ringers when Dunster Castle was yeelded up " four 
shillings and eight pence. * 

A few of Blake's cannon balls have been unearthed 
on the Tor in recent years. His principal battery was, 

' Merctirius Civicus, No. 152 ; Four ^ Perfect Diurnal, No. 144. 

Strong Castles taken, &c. ♦ Hancock's Minehead, p. 70. 

* Mercuriiis Civicus, No. 152. 


it is believed, behind the house now called the Luttrell 
Arms Hotel. Another may have been on the north 
side of the town, as a ball, presumably fired by the 
defenders of the Castle, was found in the roof of the 
church some thirty years ago. 

John Question of Dunster, surgeon, was in 1647 
subjected to a fine of 100/. for espousing the Royalist 
cause, but the amount was eventually reduced to i o/. 
in consideration of the gratuitous services which he 
had rendered to sick and hurt soldiers serving under 
Colonel Blake during the siege. ^ 

A garrison was maintained at Dunster Castle for 
more than five years after its surrender to Blake. 
Thus, in October 1 649, it was proposed to place 2,000 
foot of Somerset in Bridgewater and Dunster Castle. ^ 
George Luttrell, although apparently allowed to live 
in his own house, was made to feel that he was not 
supreme there, the defences being in the hands of a 
military governor, Major William Robinson. ^ On 
the 25th of March 1650, nearly fourteen months 
after the execution of Charles the First, the Council 
of State resolved : — 

" That it be referred to the Committee which conferrs 
with the Officers of the Armie to consider whether or noe 
Dunster Castle and Taunton Castle, or either of them, are fitt 
to be demolished, and to report to the Councell their opin- 
ions therein. " * 

On the 6th of May, twelve barrels of gunpowder 
were issued " for the supply of Taunton and Dunster 
Castle, " and, on the 25 th of the same month, a further 
demand of the Governor of Dunster Castle for arms 
and ammunition was referred to the Committee of the 

' Calendar of Committee for advance ^ Ibid. 1649-1650, p. 394. 

of money, p. 815. ■• S. P. Dom. Interregnum. I. 64. f. 

■ Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 120. 
1648-1649, p. 300. 

196 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Ordnance. ^ The following resolutions are entered in 
the order-book of the Council of State for the year 
1650 :— 

6 June. " That a letter bee written to Colonell Desbrow, 
to let him know that this Councell leaves it to him to put 
in such number of men into Dunster and Taunton Castles as 
hee shall thinke fit to secure them. " ^ 

5 August. " That it bee refered to the Committee which 
meets with the Officers of the Armie to take into consider- 
ation the present condition of Dunster Castle, and to report 
to the Councel their opinions what they thinke fitt to bee 
done therein, either as to the makeing it untenable or re- 
pairing of it. " ^ 

10 August. "At the Committee for Marshall Affaires. 
Ordered that the Committee, haveing seriously considered 
the present state of the guarrison at Dunster Castle, and 
finding that the makeing of it every way teneable against an 
enemy will require a great summe of money which they con- 
ceive the Councell at present cannot well spare, conceive 
it necessary that the said guarrison be drawne to Taunton, 
and that the Castle be soe farre slighted as that it may not be 
made suddainely teneable by an enemy, and that it be referred 
to Major General! Desbrow to the Commissioners of the 
Militia for the county to see this done and to send an account 
thereof to the Councell. " * 

The vv^ork of destruction was set in hand without 
delay, a rate being levied in Somerset " for pulling 
downe Dunster Castle. " ^ A communication written 
on the spot on the 27th of August says : — 

" Here hath been above two hundred men working at 
this Castle these twelve daies about sleighting the same, 
which is almost finished except the dwelling-house of Mr. 
Lutterell and the Gatehouse, according to order of the 
Councel of State. " '^ 

1 S. p. Dom. Interregnum. I. 64. ff. * Ibid. f. 70. 

312, 389. 4 Savage's History of the Hundred of 

* Ibid. {. 426. Carhampton, p. 436. 

* Ibid. I. 8. f. 49. 6 ^ Perfect Diurnal, no. 38. 


The preservation of such parts of the fabric as still 
remain is due to a resolution of the Council of State 
on the 20th of August, v^hich arrived rather late : — 

" To write to Major Robinson that Dunster Castle be 
continued in the condition it is till further order of the 
Councell, and that there bee twenty or thertie chozen men 
there for the defence thereof. " ^ 

Six months later we read : — 

" George, son and heire to Thomas, succeded him in his 
estate. His castle of Dunster and estate being in the 
enimies' hands at his father's death, he enjoyed little thereof 
till reduced. The walles of his castle of Dunster, Mount 
Stweevens and a fair new building therin were totally de- 
molished and his gatehouse much defaced, by an order from 
Whitehall under Mr. Bradshaw his hand, and another from 
the Malitica, without and before any notice, veiw or re- 
compence, August 8, 1650, to about 3000/. dammages, to 
save the charge of a garrison, and his very mantioned house 
at first advise to be puld down by the MaHticia, but after- 
wards countermanded, and twenty souldiers put into his 
house to gaurd Mr. Prynne close prisoner there. 

" His wife is now pregnant. God send her a sonn and 
heir, a joyfuU delivery and numerous happy posterity, to 
perpetiate the family and name with onner and happines, to 
God's glory and the publick welfare of the country and 
kingdom in their successive genarations till the second com- 
ing of Jesus Christ, which is the cordiall option and fervent 
prayer of the collector of this pedigree. Febr. 1 8, anno 1 650. 

Will. Prynne, Esq. " ^ 

The writer of this was one of the chief pamphlet- 
eers of his time. Few sentences of the Court of 
StarChamber had done so much to bring it into dis- 
repute as those by which William Prynne had been 
condemned to lose both his ears in the pillory, and to 
be branded on the cheeks with the letters 'S.L.' mean- 

' S.P. Dom. Interregnum, I.9. f. 13. * D.C.M. xxxviii. 100. 

198 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

ing ' Seditious Libeller. ' He had taken some re- 
venge on the Government of Charles the First by 
hounding Archbishop Laud to the scaffold, but he 
had protested against the execution of the King and 
had written pamphlets denouncing the regime that had 
been substituted for the monarchy. 

On the 25th of June 1650, the Council of State 
issued a warrant for the apprehension of William 
Prynne for writing and practising against the Com- 
monwealth, and for his confinement at Dunster Castle, 
where nobody was to be allowed to confer with him 
except in the presence of his gaoler. ^ Finding that 
the muniments of George Luttrell were in a " con- 
fused chaos, " he employed his time in making an 
arrangement of them according to localities, which 
has been maintained to the present time. He also 
compiled a general calendar of them, at the end of 
which there is a characteristic note that it was made 
" by William Prynne of Swainswick, Esq. in the 
eight months of his illegall, causeless, close impris- 
onment in Dunster Castle by Mr. Bradshaw and his 
companions at Whitehall, Feb. 18, Anno Dom. 1650, 
2 Car. IL " The obstinacy of the man is shown by 
his reference to the regnal year of a prince in exile. 
From Dunster, he was that year removed to Taunton, 
and thence to Pendennis Castle. ^ Soon after the 
Restoration, he was appointed Keeper of the Records 
at the Tower of London. ^ 

The following letters show the ultimate decision of 
the Council of State with respect to Dunster Castle : — 

" To the Commissioners of the Militia of the County of 

Gentlemen. Although there appeare not much at present 

' S.P. Dom. Interregnum, 1.64. f. 481. ^Dictionary of National Biography, 

* /6irf. 1.96. f. 253. vol. xlvi. 


of any stirring of the enemy, yet Wee have sure information 
that they have designes on foot at present of great danger 
to the Commonwealth and particularly in those parts ; to 
prevent which Wee think it necessary that such places as are 
not yet made untenable should have some strength put into 
them to prevent the enemyes' surprize. And Wee being 
informed that Dunster Castle, the house of Mr. Lutterell, 
is yet in condition that if it be seized by the enemy might 
prove dangerous, Wee therefore desire you to appoint some 
Militia forces to prevent the surprize of it, till there may be 
some course taken to make it untenable, or that the state of 
affairs may not be subject to the like danger as now they are. 

Whitehall, 25 March 1651. " ^ 
" To Major General Desborowe. 

Sir. Wee are informed from Major Robinson, Govern- 
our of Taunton and Dunster Castle, that the forces remayn- 
ing in those garrisons are not sufficient to enable him to 
preserve the same for the service of the state. Wee there- 
fore desire you to consider those places and the forces in 
them, and in what you find those forces defective to make 
supply thereof, that the Governour may be able to give a 
good accompt thereof to the Commonwealth. 

Whitehall, 20 Male 1651. "' 
" To George Lutterell, Esq. of Dunster Castle. 

Sir. Wee conceive it hath been some prejudice to you 
that your house hath been still continued a garrison, which 
Wee are willing you should be freed from, soe as the 
Commonwealth may be assured from danger by it. And 
Wee doubt not but you will bee carefuU to keepe the place 
from the enemies' surprise in respect of your interest in it. 
But that Wee may be able to give the Commonwealth 
a good accompt of that place upon the remove of that gar- 
rison, Wee hold fit that you enter recognizance before two 
justices of the peace with two suretyes to the Keepers of the 
Liberty of the Commonwealth of England, yourself in 6000/. 
and 3000/. each of your suretyes. The condition to bee that 
you shall not suffer any use to be made of your said house 
of Dunster Castle to the prejudice of the Commonwealth 

' S.P. DoiTi. Interregnum, 196. f. 73. ' Ibid. f. 193. 

200 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

and present Government, which being done, Wee have given 
order to Major Generall Desborow to draw off the men that 
are in the same castle and dispose of them as Wee have 
given order. Wee have had information of designes upon 
that your Castle, the prevention of the operation whereof 
hath occasioned our putting of a guard there ; and having 
now put it into this way wherein Wee have had regard of 
your conveniency. Wee expect you to be careful of what 
besides your particular herein, concerns the interest of the 
publique. Whitehall, 27 Maii 1651."^ 

On the same day, Major-General Desborow was 
instructed to draw off the twenty men who were 
quartered at Dunster Castle as soon as George Luttrell 
should have entered into the recognisances prescribed. 

The Government afterwards became so well satis- 
fied of George Luttrell's loyalty to the Commonwealth 
as to appoint him Sheriff of Somerset, in November 
1652.' A half-length portrait of Oliver Cromwell 
in armour, by Robert Walker, still hangs in the hall 
at Dunster Castle. 

George Luttrell married firstly Elizabeth, daughter 
of Nicholas Prideaux of Soldon, in Devonshire. The 
expected heir, for whom Prynne had expressed such 
solicitude, was born at Dunster on the i8th of April 
1 65 I, but lived only a short time, being baptized by 
the name of George on the 6th of May and buried 
on the same day. Mrs. Luttrell died on the 22nd 
of May 1652, and was buried at Dunster the same 
evening. A few weeks later, on the 15th of July, 
George Luttrell married her cousin Honora, daughter 
of John Fortescue of Buckland Filleigh, in Devonshire. 
As a memorial of their wedding, they gave to the 
church of Buckland Filleigh a silver flagon bearing 
their arms, which is still in use. George Luttrell 

' S. p. Dom. Interregnum, 196. f. 202. ' List of Sheriffs, p. 125. 

- Ibid. I. 203. A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. 201 

died in 1655, at the age of thirty, without issue. A 
large sum was expended on his burial, Henry Prigg 
of Exeter charging loi/. for cloth, and Edward 
Foxwell of the same city charging no less than 159/. 
" for wines for the funerall." Honora, the widow, 
hved at Exeter. 

Francis Luttrell, son of Thomas and brother of 
George succeeded. Of his early years nothing is 
known except that he was baptized at Dunster on the 
ist of November 1628 and admitted a member of 
Lincoln's Inn in 1646. On the last day of March 
1660, he was returned for the neighbouring borough 
of Minehead to the Parliament which effected the 
Restoration. He was similarly returned in the fol- 
lowing spring and he sat until his death in 1666. 
There was in his time a project of instituting an 
' Order of the Royal Oak ' to commemorate the loyalty 
of the faithful adherents of the House of Stuart, but 
the King eventually abandoned it as likely to perpet- 
uate political dissensions. A list of suitable persons 
had, however, been prepared, county by county, and 
among the fifteen nominated from Somerset we find 
Francis Luttrell, who was reputed to have an income 
of 1500/. ^ Considering that his relations, Luttrells 
and Pophams alike, had been Roundheads, the inclus- 
ion of his name among those of noted Cavaliers, like 
Stawell, Berkeley and Gorges, seems strange, but the 
demolition of the greater part of Dunster Castle by 
order of the Council of State after the Civil War was 
over, may have caused a change in his politics. 

Francis Luttrell's wife, Lucy, came also of a Round- 
head family, being the daughter of Thomas Symonds 

' Wotton's English Baronetage (ed. 5th Series, vol. iv. pp. 49, 151, 238. 
174 1), vol. iv. p. 374 ; Notes and Queries, 

202 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

of Whittlesford, in Cambridgeshire, and the grand- 
daughter of John Pym, the great ParHamentary leader. 
The couple may have met at Charles Pym's house at 
Brymore, near Bridgewater. The marriage took place 
on the 8th of October 1655, ^^ Buckland Monach- 
orum in Devonshire, where the bride must have been 
staying w^ith her aunt. Lady Drake. Four years 
later, Francis Luttrell made an elaborate settlement 
with a view to preserving his estates in his own 
" name and blood, " and accordingly conveyed to 
trustees the castle, manor, and borough of Dunster, 
the manors of Carhampton Barton, Minehead, Rod- 
huish, Kilton, East Quantockshead, Withycombe 
Hadley, Williton Hadley, Vexford and Heathfield 
Durborough, the priory of Dunster, the hundred of 
Carhampton, the parks of Dunster, Marshwood and 
Quantockshead, Marshwood farm, and lands in those 
and other neighbouring places. These were settled on 
him for life with successive remainders in tail male to 
his own sons, to Hugh Luttrell of Rodhuish, gentle- 
man, George Luttrell, gentleman, son of George 
Luttrell, clerk, Francis Luttrell of Gray's Inn, esquire, 
Anthony Luttrell of Hartland, esquire, and Southcote 
Luttrell of Saunton Court, esquire, with the exception 
of the manor of Heathfield and lands at Venn, Cot- 
ford and Norton Fitzwarren, which were reserved for 
his second son Francis. ^ 

There are few memorials of the first Francis Lut- 
trell beyond legal documents and bills. In 1663, he 
paid no less than 4/. for " a smale great sadle for a 
child, of pinck coulored plush trimed with silver lace." 
At another time a " box of sweetmeates " cost him 
7/. i6j. In 1665, the price of sherry and sack alike 

' Legal common-place book belong- C.B. f. 33. 
ing to Mr. C. E. H. Chadvvyck Healey, 


was 5 J. per gallon. The price of claret ranged from 
4/. 6/. 8^. to 4/. I 3J-. 4^. per ' tearce, ' the tearce being 
a third of a pipe. 

Francis Luttrell was buried at Dunster on the 14th 
of March 1666. By Lucy his wife, who survived, 
he left issue three sons, Thomas, Francis, and Alex- 
ander, each of whom in turn succeeded to his landed 
estate. The widow, however, was the actual manager 
of it for some fourteen years. 

On the death of Jane Luttrell of Marshwood in 
1668, Lucy Luttrell of Dunster became involved in 
suits at the Somerset Assizes, in the Court of Ex- 
chequer, and in the Chancery, on behalf of her young- 
est son, Alexander, commonly called ' Sany. ' The 
old grandmother had undertaken to provide for the 
boy and had duly made a will in his favour. ^ " She 
hoped to make Sany almost as good a man as his 
elder brother ; saying that if his elder brother invited 
him to dinner, he should be able to invite his elder 
brother to supper. " She seems to have been of a 
miserly disposition, for, instead of buying land or 
otherwise investing her money, she amassed " a great 
treasure of gold, silver, &c. " at Marshwood. In 1 667, 
the country people at Stoke Courcy apprehended nine 
persons well horsed and armed, who confessed before 
the magistrates a design of robbing her house. At 
her death, however, only i 50/. were found there out 
of about 10,000/. that she was believed to have hoard- 
ed. At the instigation of Lucy Luttrell, two of the 
servants were indicted of felony, and at a later stage, 
she charged her own sister-in-law Amy and her hus- 
band, George Reynell, with having caused large sums 
of money in bags to be secretly removed from Marsh- 

• Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. vi. p. i8. 

204 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

wood. ' The Reynells were eventually condemned 
in 6000/. with 200/. costs, and George Reynell was im- 
prisoned successively in the Fleet and the Marshalsea. 
After his escape from the latter, Lucy Luttrell sued 
the Marshal and Keeper of the gaol and obtained 
iudgment for the 6,200/. 

Lucy Luttrell survived until Christmas Eve 171 8, 
and was buried at Dunster on the 7th of January 1 7 1 9. 

Thomas Luttrell, eldest son of Francis and Lucy, 
was baptized at Dunster on the 19th of March 1657, 
but he died under age and was buried there on the 
20th of July 1670. 

Francis Luttrell, second son of Francis and Lucy, 
was baptized at Dunster on the i6th of June 1659. 
He matriculated at Christ Church in March 1676, 
but left Oxford without a degree. While he was an 
undergraduate, there was an idea of buying a peerage 
for him. Anthony Wood notes under the date of 
26 October 1678 : — 

" I was told from Sir Thomas Spencer's house that the 
King hath given Dr. Fell, Bishop of Oxon, a patent for an 
Earl (which comes to about 1000/.) towards the finishing of 
the great gate of Christ Church next to Pembroke College. 
He intends to bestow it on Mr. Lutterell, a gentleman com- 
moner of Christ Church, of Somersetshire, having 4000/. per 
annum at present. " ^ 

Francis Luttrell's income was certainly overstated, 
and nothing came of the scheme. While he was 
still under age, he was, in February 1679, returned to 
Parliament as one of the members for Minehead, and, 

' state Papers, Charles H. vol. 192, * Wood's Life and Times, vol. ii. p. 

no. 118 ; vol. 229, no. 151; vol. 272, no. 421. 


being re-elected at the next four elections, he contin- 
ued to represent that borough until his death. ^ 

On the 1 5 th of July 1 680, a few weeks after attain- 
ing his majority, Francis Luttrell married a beautiful 
lady, Mary, daughter and heiress of John Tregonwell 
of Milton Abbas in Dorset. She was wealthy too, 
having an independent income of 2,500/. a year, the 
capital value of which she estimated at 50,000/. 

Ten months after his marriage, Francis Luttrell 
was appointed by the Earl of Winchilsea, Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Somerset, to be Colonel of a regiment of foot 
in succession to Sir Halswell Tynte, and he was in 
command of the local forces when the Duke of 
Monmouth landed at Lyme in June 1685. * In this 
emergency he had recourse to his wife. It had been 
his habit to give her a guinea or broad piece of gold 
whenever any of his tenants paid a fine for the renewal 
of a lease, and so she had accumulated about 500/. at 
Dunster Castle. From this hoard she then withdrew 
about 200/. for his assistance. ^ He was, however, 
obliged to evacuate Taunton on the approach of the 
Duke, who there assumed the title of King. 

On the third day after the battle of Sedgemoor, the 
churchwardens of Dunster paid 71. td. to the ringers 
" upon the rout of Monmouth. " The churchward- 
ens and the overseers alike incurred a small expense 
in " presenting the rebells " at Stogumber, and three 
men were hanged at Dunster after the " Bloody 
Assizes. " 

In the later part of the short reign of James the 
Second, Francis Luttrell was no longer to be reckoned 
as one of his supporters. In 1687, he declined to 

> Return of Members of Parliament. ^ chancery Proceedings, Mitford 538, 

* Historical MSB. Commission, Re- no. 2. 
port iii. p. 96. 

2o6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

vote for the repeal of the penal laws, and he was one 
of the first men of importance to join the standard of 
the Prince of Orange at Exeter in November 1688. ^ 
Receiving from him a commission to raise an inde- 
pendent company of foot, he applied himself to the 
task with such energy that he collected the necessary 
men in the course of three days, and he maintained 
them at his own expense for a fortnight. The local 
tradesmen, however, took advantage of his haste, and 
charged him 1,500/. for clothes which soon proved 
worthless. ^ In the following February, several com- 
panies were amalgamated into a regular regiment of 
the line, and he was appointed to be its first Colonel. 
Most of the officers belonged to families well known 
in Somerset and Devon such as Northcote, Malet, 
Bowyer, Wyndham, Coward, Dodington, Prater, 
Sydenham, Stocker and Hancock. After going for 
a time to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, the 
regiment took up its quarters at Plymouth. At a later 
period, it became known as the 'Nineteenth Foot,' and 
associated with Yorkshire. ^ A number of old match- 
locks branded with the initials " F.L. " are still 
preserved at Dunster Castle. There is also there an 
oval portrait of Francis Luttrell in a large brown 
periwig, with military lace tie and a steel gorget with 
gilt rivets. 

Colonel Luttrell and his wife used to spend very 
large sums on clothes for themselves, their children, 
and their servants. A series of bills rendered by 
William Franklyn of the parish of Covent Garden, 
tailor, is interesting as illustrating the history of 
costume and showing in detail the cost of different 

^ Green sMarchofWillJamo/Orange, i. p. i68. 
pp. 29, 32, 48, 57. s Cannon's Historical Record of the 

* Calendar of Treasury Papers, vol. Nineteenth Regiment. 



materials, at a time when the purchasing power of 
money was much greater than it is now. As will 
be seen by the extracts to be given below, the tailor 
and the seamstress got comparatively little for their 

168 1, August. " Making a rich laced cloath suite, i/. i Ss. 
Silk and galloone, ^s. A pair of scarlett silk stockings with 
gold, i/. 155. Buckles to the britches, 35. 6^. Silk to line 
the britches, I oj. Pocketts and staying tape, 3 j 6^. A sett 
of rich gold buttons, 2/. 14^.6^. Rich gold brest buttons, 4^.6^. 
Fine drawing the suite, 3J. 6^. 2^ yards of superfine gray 
cloth, 2/. 1 2 J. 6^. Buckram and canvas, is. 3^. 5 J yards of 
rich Florence sattin, to line the coate, 4/. 14J. Scarlett plaine 
ribbon, i/. 5J. 4 yards rich gold and scarlett ribbon, 6/. ^s. 
18 yards rich gold orar lace for coate and britches, 18/. 
Gold chaine to the suite, 14J. 9^. Rich gold needle for the 
gloves, 10/. 5 J. A pair of gloves, makeing and faceing, gs. 
A scarlett fether, i/. 8j. Rich needle gold fring fora scarffe, 
35/. 5^. Silk for the scarffe and makeing itt, iSs. " 

In March 1682, there are charges for "a light 
coUoured cloath suite, " made of " superfine Spanish 
cloath att 20s. per yard, " on which were no less than 
"12 dozen of rich gold buttons at 41. 6^. per dozen, " 
besides " gold buttons for the britches " costing 3J-. 6d. 
On the same day, Franklyn supplied " a sad colloured 
suite, " which also had " 12 dozen of rich gold 
buttons " as before, and " 5 dozen of gold brest ditto 
for wast [coat] and britches, " the latter evidently 
small and costing only i os. or 2s. a dozen. The " sad 
colloured gold and silver ribbon for shoulder and 
sword " cost 2/. I oj. " Rich broad gold orace lace 
for the wast [coat] and hands of the coate " cost 7/. 

Some three weeks later, particulars are given of 
" a druggitt suite. " The material cost only ^s. a 
yard, but it must have been narrow, as eight yards 
were required. A similar quantity was used a month 

2o8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

later in making "a stuffe suite" but the "fine stufFe" 
cost gs. 9^. a yard. On this there were " 1 1 dozen 
of silver and silk buttons" costing i/. iSs. td. and 
" 3 J dozen of small buttons " costing \s. 6d. " A sett 
of figured i od. ribbon for sword, shoulder and hand 
knotts, " belonging to it, cost 3/. 4J. and " 2 dozen 
of pinck and green \6d. ribbon cost i/. 12s. " 

In August, Colonel Luttrell ordered another " stufFe 
suite, " and in October another " cloath suite, " made 
of " fine Spanish cloath att 20s. per yard. " " A long 
wastcoate " to be worn with the latter required 4^ 
yards of " Florence sattin " at 1 3J. per yard. In 
November, he had " a cloath rideing coate " made of 
" fine Spanish drabdebery ^ att 20j-. per yard, " lined 
with " blew fine rateene, " and ornamented with " larg 
silver plate buttons" that cost 3/. los. 

In April 1683, Colonel Luttrell ordered two suits. 
One of them was made of " light cloath " at 20s. a 
yard and had " gold and silver buttons " costing i /. 1 6s. 
and silver trimmings. The other was made of " fine 
stufii^, " apparently very narrow, costing js. a yard. 
In July, he ordered a coat of " gray cloath " at 16/. a 
yard, lined with " Florence sarcenett, " and a pair 
of " bufFe britches. " 

By 1685, male costume seems to have become rath- 
er simpler, the number and cost of buttons having been 
greatly reduced. A coat made in November of that 
year of " fine French ratteen " at 20/. a yard, had 
facings of striped satin to the " hands, " or cuffs. The 
breeches worn with it were of " black floward velvet. " 
A " cloath suite " made in the same month had only 
a few " silke buttons " costing 8j. and the stockings 
were only of " wosted. " On the other hand, the 

' Drap de Berry, woollen cloth as made in Berry in France. 


waistcoat required " 5J- yards of blew Florence dam- 
ask " costing 3/. IIS. bd. and there was 5/. worth 
of gold lace on it and on the " cuffs " of the coat. 
A drugget coat made in June 1686 was worn over a 
silk waistcoat trimmed with broad silver lace costing 
2/. loj". and breeches of " rich damaske " of colours 
unspecified. A riding coat of " drabdubery " had 
velvet facings to the sleeves and the neck. 

In September 1687, Colonel Luttrell had a coat of 
" fine Segovia serge " adorned with " rich black and 
gold lace, " a waistcoat of " scarlet ratteene, " breeches 
of " rich Scarlett velvett, " and a pair of fine worsted 
stockings. In January 1689, he had a coat of fine 
blue cloth, lined with " black rasdejane, " a " black 
ratteene wastcoat " and breeches of "black flowered 
velvett. " The buttons were of black silk and inex- 
pensive. A waistcoat of white and gold silk cost 
17/. IS. 3^., in April, 1689, the material alone being 
reckoned at 55/. a yard. In that month there were 
extra charges on a uniform apparently supplied by 
the Government: — 

" To pay for the lineing of your imbroydered coat, being 
of richer sattin and much better than the lineing of the other 
officers i/. 6j. To pay for blew cloth for your coat, being 
much better than the other officers, \os. " 

In June, Franklyn himself supplied a coat of scar- 
let cloth, adorned with " 9 dozen rich double water 
gilt buttons " at \os. a dozen, a waistcoat of " India 
camlett " " with loops all over " of blue and gold, 
and velvet breeches. The following items occur at 
various dates between 1681 and 1689 : — 

" A morning gowne, 4/. lis. 
6 pair of the best jessimy gloves, 15J. 
A set of sterling plate buttons, 5/. 
A dozen of carr whips, i /. 65. 


6 hunting whips, i2s. 

A leading pike with a gold head, i/. 12s. 

A pattison (i.e. partizan), i/. Ss. 

A gold sword, 3/. js. 

2 lace cravatts and ruffles, 13/. lOJ. 

2 pair of stifned gloves faced, 12s. 

A white bever, 3/. 4;. 6^. 

A black French hat edged with gold, and a gold hat-band, i ys. 

A black French hat, plaine, ip. 

Laid out in receiving a thousand pounds for you, iL 

A gold belt, 2/. I ys. 6d. 

4 pair of fine gloves, 1 55. 6d, 

2 pair of perfumed gloves, 1 9J. 6d. 

3 fine long lace cravatts, 10/. 

A black bever, 3 guinneyes, 3/. 4J. 6^. 

A Venetian morning gowne lined with blew sattin, cap, 

and sleeppers, 7/. 

2 pair of doeskin gloves,6j. Trimming them and faceing, 3J. 
A lead combe, 2s. 

A rich gould neckcloth, i/. is. 6d. Two wrought gould 
dittos, i/. 

3 fine whipps, i/. lOJ. 
3 cane whipps, lOJ. 

A black Carolina hatt and band, 135. 
A case of French rasors, i/. is. 6d. 
Haifa pound of snuffe, i/. 8j. 

Franklyn's bills for goods supplied to Mrs. Lutt- 
rell begin about the time of the birth of her eldest 
daughter. The following are some of the items : — 

1 68 1, October 10. "A suite of lace childbed linen, 
mantle and apron, 10/. Broad fine lace, 61. los. 7 yards 
broad fine lace, 305. per yard, 10/. ioj. 6 yards of broad 

fine lace att 22j. per yard, 61. I2s. 

A bone lace night raile, 61. 6s. A cornet and coife, 6/. 55. 
A childbed suite of fine hoUand, i/. A pair of bone lace 
ruffles, 2/. 

A silver porringer and spoone, i/. 55. 
Another suite of fine lace linnen, 61. los. 
Damask and diaper for clouts, 1 2/. 1 55. 


A lace Holland wastcoate, 3/. 12s. 

Damask mantle sleeves night wastcoate, cap and rowlers, 

2/. i^s. 

A pair of rich silk bodyes and sleeves, 2/. i 8j. 

Paid for the cradle, bolster, pillow, and quilt of white 

imbroidered sattin, 16/. 

A white sattin bed quilt, 3/. los. 

An allamode hood, ^s. 

A rich gold fringe for a petticoate, ill. los. 

6| yards of lace for the tylight (/. e. toilette), at i8j. per 

yard, 6/. is. dd. 

18 yards of rich white sattin and gold floured silk for the 

gowne and pettycoate at 265. per yard, 23/. 8j. Making the 

gowne and pettycoate, lis. 

Cherry coUoured manto to line the gowne, il. is. 6d. 

3 yards of cherry and gold flowred silk for the twylight 

(/. e. toilette), at 3 35. per yard, 4/. 19J. 

3^ yards of rich cherry gold and silver flowred silk for a 

mantle, at 385. per yard, 61. 35. Florence sarcenett to line 

all three mantles, 3/. White Florence sattin to make a 

mantle, 4/. 6s. Makeing the two mantles and tweelight with 

broad lace, i/. 

A pair of silk sleepers, 8j. 6d. 

Flourishes for pointe, lu. " 

October 11. "2 yards of lace for a pillowber, il. 12s. 
A chest of drawers. Prince wood, 4/. los. 
7 J yards of silver lace, 13 J. per yard, 4/. 145. 3<^. " 

1682, January 2. "A fine cornett {i.e. coronet), 8j. 
2 papers of patches, 2j. 
A flowred roule, 45. 
A crimson topknott, 2S. 6d. 
A sett of fillagreene, 61. \\s. 

February 19. "A white allamode hood, 95. 
2 dimity wastcoates, 3J. 6d. 2 silk wastcoates, 3/. \os. " 

April 24. "22 yards of black French fine gause, at \s. 6d. 
per yard, 4/. 19J. 
A suite of blew sattin knots, gloves, and girdle, 4/. 

May 8. " A pair of cherry and gold lace shoose, 15J. 
A pair of black and silver fringe shoose, 1 5J. 

212 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Makeing a rich gold and white pettycoate, 6s. 6| yards 
of rich gold and white silk, att 3/. ifi. per yard, 22/. 19. ^^d. 
A dozen of white kid leather gloves, i/. is. Gd. " 

July 29. "4 pair of clouded silk stockings, 2/. 105. 6d. " 

November 10. " For ivory tools for point worke, 3J. 
A fine rich lace night rayle, 7/. 4;. 

Fine bone lace for a hood, 5/. Fine bone lace for a 
quoife, i/. Fine bone lace for an apron, 3/. Fine bone 
lace for a cap, i/. 55. " 

November 18. " 5 J yards of cherry coUoured mantow att 
lis. 6d. per yard, 3/. 8j. 9^. 

6 pair of white gloves, lis. 6d. 3 pair of jessimy gloves, 
yj. 6d. 3 pair of Genoa gloves, ioj. 6d. " 

1683, May 2. "A colberteene wyre, loj. Gd. " ^ 

July 7. " A rideing cravatt, il. 155. 
A whole head of haire, iL 15J. 
A box of sweet meates, 61. 5J. 

10 yards of spotted lutestring, at "js. 6d. per yard, 3/. i^d. 
Makeing a camlett rideing coate, 8j. 9 dozen of greene 
and silver buttons, il. 2s. 6d. 7^ yards of fine hair camlett, 
at 95. per yard, 3/. 75. 6d. Green Florence sarcenett to line, 
2/. 3 J. A greene and white feather, il. 35. " 

August 4. "6 pair of white gloves, lOJ. 7 pair of rich 
Roman gloves, i/, 8j. 

August 24. " A pair of shamy gloves, 4J. 6d. 
Makeing a crape mantua, 4J. 6d. 20 yards of fine crape 
at IS. 6d. per yard, 2/. lOJ. Makeing a crape peaticote and 
ribbon, 4J. 6d. 

A pair of black cloth shoose, 55. 
A black feather fann at lis. 
A pair of black sattin stayes with all appurtenances, il. los. " 

December 18. "A fine ermin tippet and fine sable mufFe, 
at four guineyes, 4/. 6j. " 

1685, December i . " Paid then to Mr. Coap att the Black 
Lyon for silke bought against the Coronation, 24/. 45. " 

1686, February 23. "A paire of gould tabby stayes, 2/." 
1688, March i. "A bottle of orange flower water, 4^. " 

' Colbertine, ' a lace resembling network, ' so called after Coblert. 


July 25. " Makeing a sultaine, i/. loj. Paid for greene 
lutestring for the neck and pocketts, 6s. Paid for silver 
lace and buttons, 2/. i8j. " 

At this last date, Mrs. Luttrell's debt to William 
Franklyn amounted to 819/. 1 3J. 8^. of which 15/. 
10s. td. represented interest on 345/. for nine months. 
Some of the items in the bills were for clothes for 
her children. Thus we find the following : — 

1683, March 17. "A crimson and white silk coate for 
Master, i/. i8j. " 

May 2. " Making a greene silk coate for Master, %s. 4 
yards of rich Itallian silk at lu. per yard, il. \s. " 

August 22. " Paid for makeing 2 silver coates, i/. 45. lOj 
yards of rich gold and silver silke for both coates, at 33J. 
per yard, 16/. i8j. \\d. " 

1686, April 24. " For makeing three children's coates, 
i/. lOi. For 20 yards of stript and floward silke at i \s.6d. 
per yard, 11/. ioj. 

1687, April 2. "A black caster for Master, 15J. 
Makeing of 3 velvett coats for the children, i/. 15J. 24 yards 
stri[ped] scarlett velvett, at i6j. 6d. 19/. i6j. 9 yards Scar- 
lett stripped] silk to face them, at 5^. 6^/, 2/. 95. dd. " 

1688, May 5. " Makeing 4 children's coats, with all things 
to them, 2/. 1 55. 35 yards flowered waved silk for the coats, 
at I2J, 21/. 

Gold tabby to face Master's sleeves, 75. " 

1690, May 29. " For a pair of blew stript silk stays for 
Miss Mary, i/. 55. For making her a rich manto and 
pettycoat of the same trimmed with silver fringe and foot, 
1 5J. For thirteen yards and half of silk stript with bloom 
and silver, at 155. per yard, 10/. is. 6d. For 9 ounces and 
J of silver fringe and foot, at 4J. 6d. per ounce, il. 2s. 9^. " 

Colonel Luttrell was of course responsible for the 
liveries of the men in his service. The following are 
samples of the entries relating to them : — 

1683, June 26. " Makeing of seven liveries laced, 5/. 

2 14 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Silk galloone and lineing the britches, iL Seven pair of 
stockings, i/. 15^. Ribbon to tye the knees, yj. dd. Pocketts, 
staying tape, canvas and buckram, i/. 20 yards of gray 
cloath, at ioj. per yard, 10/. Yellow padoway to line six 
coates, 3/. i6j. Silk to line the page's coate, lOJ. Silk to 
make the wastcote and lineing, i8j. 6 black lacker hatts, 3/. 
A black caster for the page, 13J. 151 yards of black and 
gold lace for the 7 liveries, at 6j. per yard, 45/. 6j. Black 
and gold chaine for the 7 liveries, 4/. \os. Black and gold 
buttons for them 5/. \os. Ribbons for the liveryes, i/. 18 J. " 

From other similar entries it appears that the black 
and gold buttons cost about \s. ()d. per dozen, so that 
5/. los. would represent about 750 buttons for the 
seven liveries. 

In 1677, the churchw^ardens of Dunster paid 6d. 
to " Mr. Luttrell's huntsman for killing three hedge- 
hogs. " 

There is a detailed list of the plate at Dunster 
Castle in 1690 : — 

" Sixteen silver hafted knives, twenty and three spoones, 
eighteen forkes, twelve small salts, one great salt, six tumb- 
lers, two tankards, two great cupps with covers, six guilt 
cupps, one flatt sugar box guilt, one round sugar box guilt, 
one pepper box, one mustard box, three chafeing dishes, four 
stands, one large spoone, one bason and ewere, two mazar- 
ines, six chargers, three dozen of trencher plates, three 
caudle cupps and three covers, two ladles, one small spoone, 
one ring for sweete meats, seaven plates belonging to the 
ring, one pye plate, two salvers, one coffee pott, six candle- 
sticks, three snuffer panns, three paire of snuffers, two 
chamber potts, tenn basons, one warming pann. " 

The whole was valued at the time at 652/. Even 
if none of the pieces dated beyond the reign of Charles 
the Second, they would nowadays be very highly 
prized. It will be observed that there were two 
silver plates for each fork, the plates being changeable 
once in the course of dinner, while one fork was con- 



sidered sufficient for the whole meal. In addition to 
his plate of silver and silver-gilt, Colonel Luttrell had 
great quantity of pewter. 

Mary Luttrell, his wife, had many jewels, one of 
which was reported to be worth 800/., a great sum in 
those days, but this was an exaggeration. Some of 
these ornaments had come to her from her mother, 
the daughter of a former Lord Mayor of London ; 
others were presents from her husband. Thus she 
had a picture of him set in gold with diamonds round 
it, a " crosiatt " of diamonds, and a diamond neck- 
lace. ^ She is represented without any jewellery in 
an oval portrait at Dunster Castle, painted as a com- 
panion to that of her husband mentioned above. 

Colonel Francis Luttrell died at Plymouth on the 
25th of July 1690, at the age of thirty-one. Un- 
conscious or regardless of the condition of his affairs, 
the widow caused his body to be removed to Dunster 
for interment, and so spent the then considerable sum 
of 300/. on his funeral. The hatchment painted on 
this occasion is still in existence. Colonel Luttrell 
had issue four children : — 

Tregonwell, his heir. 

Mary, born on the 25th of November 1681, and bap- 
tized on the 20th of December. Under her father's 
will, she became entitled to 4,000/. She married 
on the 2ist of January 1701, a widower. Sir George 
Rooke, the celebrated admiral. Dying in childbed 
about eighteen months later, she was buried at 
Horton in Kent. ^ Queen Anne and Prince George 
of Denmark stood as god-parents to her infant. 

Jane, baptized at Milton Abbas, on the 19th of 

1 Chancery Proceedings, Mitford * Musgravc's Obituary. 

538, no. 2. 

2i6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

August 1684, and buried at Dunster on the 14th 
of November, 1688. 
Frances, born on the 17th of April 1688 and baptized 
at Dunster. She married firstly, about Christmas 
1705, Edward Harvey, and secondly Edward Ashe 
of Heytesbury. Like her elder sister, she was 
entitled to 4,000/. under the will of her father. 

The untimely death of Francis Luttrell gave rise 
to a great deal of trouble. In the first place there 
was a contest in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 
between his relict Mary and his brother Alexander, 
guardian of the three children all under age. It was 
not until March 1693 that the widow and executrix 
undertook the administration of the personal estate. ^ 
Then creditors began to make their voices heard. 
According to one statement, the debts amounted to 
12,000/. in addition to a sum of 10,000/. due to 
Alexander Luttrell. Sir William Wyndham's loan of 
4,000/. was secured upon the manor of Beggarnhuish 
and other lands, part of the ancient inheritance of 
the Luttrells of East Quantockshead, and these ac- 
cordingly passed away from the family. Debts se- 
cured byjudgment ranked next, but there were various 
creditors who stood in to lose heavily, the bulk of the 
real property being strictly entailed. Servants' wages 
had not been paid for years. Mary Luttrell, the 
widow, moreover, had a jointure of 1,500/. a year 
which she was not at all disposed to forego. Several 
members of the Dyke family who had a claim upon 
her late husband's personal estate, retaliated by con- 
tending that her jewels should be reckoned as part of 
it. Although a minute inventory was made of the 
contents of Dunster Castle, little or nothing seems to 

' p. CO. Coker. f. 40. 


have been actually sold. ^ Under the will of Colonel 
Francis Luttrell, the vvridow was entitled to a life- 
interest in all his furniture, and it is not unlikely that 
she gave some of her own money to rescue it from the 
creditors. A few family portraits of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries still survive at Dunster 
Castle. The fate of other moveables is briefly re- 
corded in the diary of Narcissus Luttrell under the 
date of 19 November 1696: — 

" Yesterday morning a sudden fire hapned in Mrs Lut- 
trell's house in St. James's Street, being newly and richly 
furnished, which burnt it to the ground, the lady herself 
narrowly escaping, and 'tis said she lost in plate, Jewells, ^c. 
to the value of 10,000/. " 

Tradition says that nothing was saved but one 
diamond ring. A few weeks after this catastrophe, 
Mrs. Luttrell married Jacob Bancks, a Swede by birth, 
who held a commission as Captain in the English 
navy. ^ According to one story, he had helped to 
rescue her from the flames. He was knighted in 
1699, and, through the Luttrell influence, he was 
elected to represent Minehead in nine successive 
Parliaments. ' Sir Jacob's bowl ' will be mentioned 
hereafter. ^ Lady Bancks died of small-pox on the 
2nd of March 1704, and was buried at Milton Abbas, 
where there is a monument to her memory. Five 
months later, her husband entered into a curious 
arrangement with the wife of Alexander Luttrell of 
Dunster Castle, the particulars of which are given in 
his own writing: — 

" I doe accnouledge to have receivd the summ off five 
guineas to pay Miss" Doroty Luttrell the summ of fifty 
guineas in case I doe marie after the 14th day of Agust 

' Chancery Proceedings, Mitford, 538, ' Briej Relation, vol. iv. pp. 142, 150. 

no. 2; 546, no. 48. ^ Pages 244, 245, below. 

2i8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

1704, in witnes wherofF I have sett my hand this 14th day 
Agust 1704 afForesed, J. Bancks. 

In presens off 

A. Fownes, 

F. Lutterell. 

Ann Fownes. " 

Although the Swede had secured the hand of an 
EngHsh heiress, he clearly was not proficient in writing 
her native language. It may be noted by the way 
that he did not marry again. Milton Abbas event- 
ually passed to his second son, and from him to a cousin, 
a foreigner who was in no way related to the father 
of Lady Bancks. ^ 

Tregonwell Luttrell, only son of Francis and 
Mary, was born on the 12th of February 1683 and 
baptized at Dunster about a month later. Some 
notices of the rich clothes that he wore while still an 
infant have been given above. He was little more 
than seven years of age at the time of his father's 
death, and he did not live to obtain actual possession 
of the ancestral estates. Dying at Sheerness in Oct- 
ober 1703, he was buried at Dunster on the last day 
of that month. ^ His uncle Alexander then became 
the head of the Luttrell family. 

Alexander Luttrell, third son of Francis and 
Lucy, was baptized at Dunster on the 20th of October 
1663. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, 
as a gentleman commoner, in May 1 677, when he was 
under fourteen years of age, but, like his elder brother 
Francis, he left the University without a degree. In 

' There is an account of the Bancks ' The newsmongers in London con- 
family in Savage's Hundred of Car- founded him with his uncle. Luttrell's 
/zam/)ton, pp. 638-643, derived from Hut- Brief Relation, vol. v. p. 531. 
chins's History of Dorset. 


the later part of his academical career, he was con- 
cerned in an outrage on the dowager Lady Lovelace 
which caused some excitement at the time. Lord 
Bulkeley, Leopold Finch, Luttrell and five other 
young blades from Christ Church who had been 
drinking at the Crown tavern one evening in June 
1 68 1, are stated to have "plucked her out of her 
coach, " calling her by opprobrious names and other- 
wise misconducting themselves in the street. ^ Before 
leaving Oxford, Alexander Luttrell had been admitted 
a student of the Middle Temple, in 1680. 

When the independent regiment raised by Colonel 
Francis Luttrell in November 1688 was put on a 
regular footing in the following February, his brother 
Alexander received a definite commission in it as 
Captain. After the death of the first Colonel, Thomas 
Erie, who had been in a different regiment, was 
appointed to succeed him, and Alexander Luttrell 
was one of several officers who at once resigned in 

When his former Lieutenant-Colonel, William 
Northcote was placed at the head of a new regiment 
in February 1694, Alexander Luttrell rejoined him 
as a Captain. This regiment was disbanded in 1697, 
but, in 1702, he and several of his brother officers 
accepted commissions in a regiment of Marines under 
the command of George Villiers. In December 1703, 
he was promoted to be Colonel of that regiment, 
which eventually became known as the ' Thirty-first 
Foot. ' ^ After the successive deaths of his nephew, 
Tregonwell Luttrell, and his sister-in-law Lady Bancks, 
he finally left the army, and he took up his residence 
at Dunster in 1705. 

'Wood's Life and Times, vol. ii. p. ^ DaMon's Ejiglish Army Lists, yo\. iii. 

542. P- 63. 

220 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Alexander Luttrell was returned to Parliament by 
the borough of Minehead in October 1690, in 
immediate succession to his elder brother, and he was 
duly re-elected on six occasions in the course of the 
next fifteen years. He does not appear to have stood 
in 1705, when Sir John Trevelyan and Sir Jacob 
Bancks were returned. At Minehead he spent a good 
deal of money on the improvement of the harbour, 
and there was a project of reviving in his favour the 
office of vice-admiral which had been held by his 
ancestor, the second Sir Hugh Luttrell, and by his 
brother Francis Luttrell. 

There are at Dunster Castle two half-length por- 
traits of Colonel Alexander Luttrell, in both of which 
he is depicted in a large periwig and a red gown. 
He died on the 22nd of September 171 1 and was 
buried at Dunster on the 6th of October. He had 
married on the 20th of July 1702, at Exminster in 
Devonshire, Dorothy daughter of Edward Yard of 
Churston Ferrers in that county. They had issue three 
children : — 

Alexander, heir to his father. 

Francis, born on the 9th of April 1709 and baptized 
at Dunster. He married at Kingswear on the i 3th 
of January 1730, Anne daughter and heiress of 
Charles Stucley of Plymouth, and they took up 
their abode at Venn, a house belonging to his elder 
brother, in the parish of Heathfield. There are at 
Dunster three portraits of him and one portrait of 
her. She died on the 30th of October 1731, in 
the twenty-first year of her age, and a marble monu- 
ment in memory of her can hardly have been set 
up in the south-eastern chapel in Dunster Church 
before he followed her to the grave, dying on the 

7'. Hiulson 



6th of January 1732. Their only child, Anne, 
married, in 1751, Edmund Morton Pleydell of 
Milborne St. Andrew and Whatcombe House, in 
Dorset, and lived to a very great age. ^ There is 
at Dunster Castle a portrait of her w^hen young, in 
a black hat with white feathers and a black dress 
with white sleeves, and a good deal of jewellery. ^ 
Dorothy, born in the loth of May 1707 and baptized 
at Dunster. She died young. 

For twelve years from the death of Colonel Alex- 
ander Luttrell, Dorothy his widow managed the 
Dunster estate on behalf of their eldest son, Alexander. 
One contemporary describes her as " a very prudent 
and charitable gentlewoman; " another styles her "the 
great good lady at the Castle; " and a third, in 1720, 
speaks of her adding to her " former just, charitable 
and pious actions " by paying the debts of her brother- 
in-law. Colonel Francis Luttrell, still outstanding. 
In 17 1 8, she purchased for her son the advowson of 
the church of Minehead. ^ The changes that she 
made in and around Dunster Castle will be mentioned 
in a subsequent chapter. The following little memor- 
andum in her handwriting, made shortly before her 
death, must not be taken to indicate a miserly dispos- 
ition : — 

" There is in the writing closett 2,300/. in money, be- 
sides a hundred pound in broad pieces and moyders received 
by leases. " * 

No bank existed at that time in which the money 
could conveniently be deposited. 

' Hutchins's History of Dorset, vol. i. hats and dresses. Both of them are 

p. 199 ; vol. ii. p. 600. known to be by Thomas Hudson. 

^ There is a large picture of a lady at ^ Hancock's Minehead, pp. 126, 135. 

Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire * Moidores were gold coins of Por- 

and a smaller picture of a lady at Ecton tugal. 
in Northamptonshire, in very similar 

222 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Dorothy Luttrell died on the 19th of November 
1723 and was buried in the vault of the Priory Church 
at Dunster. There is a very pleasing portrait of her 
at the Castle in primrose satin with blue drapery 
hanging from the head, painted by Michael Dahl 
about the time of her marriage. 

Alexander Luttrell the second, eldest son of 
Colonel Alexander Luttrell and Dorothy his wife, 
was born at Dunster on the loth of May 1705, and 
baptized there a month afterwards. In the autumn of 
1722, when he was seventeen and a half years of age, 
he and his brother Francis were sent to Oxford under 
the charge of William Kymer, the curate of Dunster, 
in order that the elder of them should matriculate at 
Christ Church. The bill of their expenses shows 
that they spent the first night at the Swan at Bridge- 
water, the second at the George at Wells, the third 
at the Three Tuns at Bath, and the fourth at the Lamb 
at Cirencester. They stayed at the Star at Oxford 
for a week, during which each of the young men 
bought a wig costing nearly 4/. The 'caution money' 
paid to the ' treasurer ' or bursar, amounted to 1 5/. 
On the return journey, they stopped at Burford, 
Cirencester, Sudbury, Bristol and Stowey. 

Shortly before coming of age, Alexander Luttrell 
married a lady several years older than himself, 
Margaret daughter of his neighbour Sir John Trevel- 
yan of Nettlecombe. A post-nuptial settlement of 
his estate was made in 1729. Having a predomin- 
ant interest at Minehead, he was, almost as a matter 
of course, elected as one of the Members for that 
borough in the ParHaments of 1727 and 1734. At 
Dunster he had a ' huntsman ' as well as a gamekeep- 
er. He or his father of the same name reduced the 



^^^^^^^^^^^KK^ • j^^^H 

mk ^ 


.W. ]>afii. 



value of the hereditary property by selling the manor 
of Williton Hadley to Sir William Wyndham. 

Alexander Luttrell the second is chiefly to be re- 
membered as the subject of numerous portraits. En- 
dowed with good looks, and habitually dressed in fine 
clothes, he sat in turn to several of the principal 
painters of his day. It is, however, very difficult to 
distinguish the portraits of him from those of his 
brother Francis. An inventory of the year 1744 
specifies three of him as being then at Dunster Castle. 
One of these described as being " in miniature " may 
possibly be identified with a very small canvas repre- 
senting a boy, bewigged according to the fashion of 
the time, and wearing a red coat, with a sword by 
his side and a bird on his arm. In a pocket-book of 
John Fownes Luttrell, there is a note that Boit, the 
master of the famous enameller Zincke, painted " the 
picture " of his grandfather Luttrell. 

The second portrait of Alexander Luttrell shows 
him also as a boy in a light periwig and coat and 
waistcoat of mouse-coloured velvet. In the third, 
which is a striking three-quarter length, he is a young 
man in a light periwig and a blue velvet coat lined 
with white satin. In the fourth, which is also three- 
quarter length, he wears a larger light periwig, a brown 
velvet coat and a very long waistcoat of a rich mater- 
ial embroidered, or interwoven, with gold. This 
picture is signed by John Vanderbank, and dated 
' 1729. ' In addition to the foregoing portraits of 
Alexander Luttrell at Dunster Castle, there is one of 
him in red velvet at Nettlecombe Court, and another 
also in red velvet at Bathealton Court. One of these 
may be by Enoch Seeman, to whom he paid sixteen 
guineas, in 1733, "for four pictures. " 

224 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vi. 

Alexander Luttrell died on the 4th of June 1737 
and was buried at Dunster on the 1 6th, when thirty- 
nine mourning rings at a guinea apiece, and six small 
ones at ioj. were distributed among relations and 

In 1 74 1, Margaret Luttrell, the widow, married a 
second husband, Edward Dyke, the last male repre- 
sentative of a family which had very rapidly acquired 
a great landed estate in Somerset. As his wife, she 
divided her time between his residences at Tetton 
and Pixton. For some years, she had the sole charge 
of three heiresses who were brought up as sisters — 
her own daughter Margaret Luttrell, her first hus- 
band's niece Anne Luttrell, and her second husband's 
cousin, Elizabeth Dyke, afterwards Lady Acland. 

There are two portraits of Edward Dyke at Pixton, 
and two at Dunster. At the latter place there are four 
portraits of his second wife. In the first of these she 
is represented as a girl in blue and white satin. The 
second, painted by J. Vanderbank in 1729, shows her 
seated, with a dog by her side. In the third she is 
in white satin with a red scarf, and in the fourth, 
painted by Richard Phelps, in a blue cloth cloak 
with a white hood over her head. There is a fifth 
portrait of her, as Mrs. Luttrell, at Nettlecombe 
Court, in blue silk with white sleeves and a white sash. 

Mrs. Dyke died in 1764. By her will, proved at 
Taunton, it appears that she painted flower pieces at 
a time when few ladies had any practical acquaintance 
with art. 

.7. Vfnidfrhdvh. 



The Fownes Luttrells of Dunster 

1737— 1780. 

Margaret Luttrell, the only child of Alexander 
Luttrell the second, and Margaret his wife, was born 
on the 7th of February, 1726, and baptized at 
Dunster. She was consequently little more than 
eleven years of age at the time of her father's death. 
Although the Luttrells had increased and multiplied 
in Somerset and Devon in the course of the seven- 
teenth century, there were, in 1737, only five living 
representatives of the family, two young girls, this 
Margaret and her cousin Anne ; a lunatic, Southcote 
Luttrell of Saunton Court ; an old bachelor, Francis 
Luttrell of the Temple; and a boy, Southcote Hun- 
gerford Luttrell. These last three were but distantly 
related to the Luttrells of Dunster, not having had 
an ancestor resident there for two centuries. 

Alexander Luttrell had died in debt, due in part 
to personal extravagance and in part to the necessity 
imposed upon him by his parents of providing a 
fortune of 10,000/. for Anne Luttrell, the daughter 
of his deceased brother Francis. The estate was 
therefore thrown into Chancery and it was not until 
1744 that the Master entrusted with the case made 
his report upon the accounts. In the meanwhile 
Dunster Castle was closed and two valuations of its 

226 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

contents were made for the satisfaction of the credit- 
ors. In point of fact all the pictures and furniture 
were saved, but such silver as had been acquired by 
Alexander Luttrell or his father was dispersed. The 
accounts of Lancelot St. Albyn, the receiver of the 
rents for the year 1743, contain several references to 
this matter, of which three will suffice : — 

" Paid Mr. Alexander, goldsmith, for his assistance three 
days at the sale of Mr. Luttrell's plate, 2/. 45. dd. Paid 
Mr. White for the use of a room in the Crown Tavern in 
Taunton, three days and expenses there, il. \s. ^d. Paid 
the cryar, or salesman, 55. " 

Particulars have been preserved of the weight of 
every piece sold, and it may be interesting to note 
that the prices ranged from 4^. ^d. to 6j-. 6^. per 
ounce. The names of the purchasers are also given. 
Among them were Sir John Trevelyan, Margaret 
Luttrell's grandfather, George Trevelyan, her uncle, 
Mrs. Dyke, her mother, St. Albyn, her agent, and 
Alexander the goldsmith at Taunton. The yearly 
value of the Luttrell estate at this period was about 
6,300/. though the actual rental was only about 
2,150/. most of the farms and other tenements being 
let on lease for lives. 

Margaret Luttrell spent several years under the 
roof of her step-father, Edward Dyke, a very mode- 
rate sum being allowed for her maintenance and 
education, which included music lessons. It was 
from his house at Tetton that she was married to her 
second cousin, Henry Fownes of Nethway in the 
parish of Brixham, in South Devon. The ceremony 
took place at Kingston Church on the 1 6th of Febru- 
ary 1747, when she was just twenty-one years of 
age, and so free from the control of guardians, lawyers 
and the like. The union proved exceptionally happy, 


and her letters to her husband, when parted from 
him, are conceived in a spirit of the sincerest affect- 
ion. At times, she acted as his amanuensis. Her 
health, however, was not good, and she died on the 
13th of August 1766, after having given birth to 
ten children. She was of course buried among her 
ancestors in the vault at Dunster. There are four 
portraits of her at the Castle. In the first she is 
represented as a small child in white muslin, with 
bare feet, offering cherries to a bird, in the middle 
of a large canvas. Richard Phelps of Porlock, an 
indifferent artist, afterwards painted a three-quarter 
length portrait of her in grey and blue satin with a 
string of pearls round her neck. A third painting 
shows her in a grey cloak trimmed with lace, and 
lace round her head. The fourth, which is the most 
pleasing, gives only the head and neck with an open 
lace collar. There is a fifth portrait of Margaret 
Luttrell at Bathealton Court, painted some time after 
her marriage. 

Henry Fownes, the husband of Margaret Luttrell, 
and through her the owner of Dunster, was the eldest 
son of John Fownes of Kittery Court, in Kingswear, 
by Anne, his second wife, daughter of Samuel Mad- 
dock of Tamerton Foliott, a descendant of the 
Mohuns of Boconnoc and consequently of the early 
lords of Dunster. He was born about 1723 and he 
matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, in 1741. 
In pursuance of a clause in the will of his father-in- 
law, he took the additional surname of Luttrell soon 
after his marriage. Another stipulation in that will 
compelled him under a penalty to spend at least six 
months of every year at Dunster Castle. One of his 
first cares was to have a seal of Brazilian pebble 

228 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

engraved with the arms of Luttrell quartered with 
those of Fownes. He also bought jewellery for his 
bride, " a pair of three dropt brilliant earrings " 
costing 330/., " a gold etwee with a brilliant diamond 
to the spring " costing 35/., and " five brilliant stars 
and a drop " costing 412/. " A gold repeating 
watch " costing 60/. was also probably destined for 
her, for Cooper the jeweller at the same time supplied 
him with " a woman's gold watch-chain and five swi- 
vells " costing 8/. 4.S. 

Turning to more serious matters, Henry Fownes 
Luttrell set himself to put his wife's affairs on a more 
satisfactory footing than that in which he had found 
them. With this object, he revived the suit in 
Chancery and obtained the sanction of the Court for 
the sale of the outlying manors of Heathfield and 
Kilton. No sufiicient offer was, however, forth- 
coming. After this, he made several vain attempts 
to sell the manor of Minehead at his own price, 
which avowedly included a considerable sum for a 
seat, or perhaps two seats, in Parliament. He was 
more successful in paying ofi^ mortgages on the estate 
with money of his own. Furthermore, by avoiding 
all unnecessary display and keeping a watchful eye 
on expenditure, he was enabled to make many and 
great improvements, for the benefit of himself and 
his successors. 

Various pieces of property in and near Dunster 
came into the market in his time, and he was gener- 
ally ready to buy them on reasonable terms. Thus, 
in 1760, he acquired from John Poyntz, the last male 
representative of an old Roman Catholic family, the 
reputed manor of Foremarsh in the parishes of Dunster 
and Carhampton, comprising houses under the shadow 
of the Castle and fields intermixed with his own. In 


1777, he bought the manor of Staunton Fry for 5,500/. 
thereby considerably increasing his ' interest ' in the 
parHamentary borough of Minehead. He also bought 
up various tenements in the tov^n of Dunster and 
extinguished the rights of most of the commoners on 
the Marsh. 

A country squire fond of horses, hounds and fight- 
ing cocks, Henry Fownes Luttrell was also a man of 
considerable taste. The structural alterations that he 
made at Dunster Castle v^ill be described in a future 
chapter, but it is necessary to mention here that the 
surrounding domain ov^es much of its present beauty 
to him. By abolishing unsightly hedges and by 
planting trees judiciously, he may fairly be said to 
have transformed the face of the land on the east and 
south sides of the town. The present deer-park was 
created by him. On Conigar Hill to the north of 
the main street of Dunster, he, in 1775, built a lofty 
circular tower, which, although hollow and unprovided 
with a staircase, is useful as a landmark to sailors in 
the Bristol Channel. Some artificial ruins erected on 
the same hill cannot of course be commended, but 
they are now practically concealed by the trees around 

Henry Fownes Luttrell used to spend part of most 
years at his old home in Devonshire. There he kept 
a small pack sometimes described as ' the merry Har- 
riers. ' In the only portrait of him at Dunster Castle, 
he is represented in a short light periwig and a drab 
hunting coat, with a whip in his hand and a dog by 
his side. A smaller portrait of him hangs at Bathealton 

There are at Dunster Castle a number of books, 
letters and papers relating to the borough of Minehead, 
which are of some interest as illustrating the manner 

230 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

in which Parliamentary elections were conducted in 
the eighteenth century. One fact worthy of remark is 
that the different contests at Minehead were waged 
on personal and local issues, with little regard to 
wider questions of national policy. In the whole cor- 
respondence about elections, there is no mention of 
Whig or Tory, and there are very few allusions to 
the leaders of the rival factions at Westminster. 

After the death of Alexander Luttrell in 1737, Sir 
William Codrington and Thomas Carew of Crow- 
combe seem to have been successively returned to the 
House of Commons in the interest of Dunster Castle. 
The other seat was occupied successively by Francis 
Whitworth of Leyborne, in Kent, who had property 
at Blackford near Minehead, and John Periam, a 
Somersetshire squire of comparatively small estate. 
The franchise was vested in those parishioners of 
Minehead and Dunster who were ' pot-boilers, ' or 
resident householders, in the borough of Minehead, 
which consisted of the three tithings of Minehead, 
Alcombe and Staunton, the receipt of alms of any sort 
being almost the only disqualification. Carew and 
Periam were the two representatives of the borough 
at the time of the marriage of Margaret Luttrell, the 
heiress of Dunster. 

On the 19th of March 1747, Charles Whitworth, 
son of the late Member, wrote to Henry Fownes 
Luttrell from St. James's Place in London, as fol- 
lows : — 

" From the acquaintance I had the pleasure of having 
with you in the West, I take the liberty to congratulate you 
upon your nuptials, and at the same time to felicitate you as 
Lord of Dunster, which as it undoubtedly gives you a 
Natural Interest in the borough of Minehead, I thought it 
due to the civility that subsisted between the two families to 


make this ofFer to be upon the same footing with you as my 
father was with the late Mr. Luttrel, and since his decease 
with that family's interest. 

" The situation of Minehead induces the inhabitants therof 
to make choice of their Members the one upon the Natural 
Interest and the other upon that which may be serviceable 
to them. It was upon this footing they approved of Mr. 
Luttrel and my father, and since my father's death both by 
publick and private benefits I flatter myself I have maintained 
that interest as entirely as he enjoyed it, with a view to offer 
myself the first opportunity. These, I believe you are sen- 
sible, are the only two material interests in that town, though 
in every place there is a floating squadron. 

" As 1 am determined to stand [at] the General Election 
at all hazards, I think it will be for both our interests to 
unite together, which I dare say will be to the entire satis- 
faction of the constituents. 

" You know the footing the two present representatives 
came in upon, the one entirely by the Castle interest, and if 
you propose to stand yourself, it cannot be thought that the 
same interest will prevail for two ; whereas if you do not 
choose to come in this Parliament, I am equally willing to 
join whoever you give your interest to. The other repre- 
sentative came in upon my father's death, without any 
opposition, myself not being of age, and [I] make no doubt 
but that having kept up my father's interest ever since his 
death will sufficiently secure myself for one of their repre- 
sentatives the ensuing Parliament. " 

To this overture Luttrell replied tardily and very 
curtly : — 

" I am sorry I cannot by any means comply whith your 
request in relation to our junction at Minehead, by reason 
I conceive too good an opinion at present of the constituents 
there to think they will reduce the Castle interest to so low 
an ebb as not to have the choice of one member at the 
ensuing election. 

He added that he considered the proposal prema- 
ture and that he was prepared to " risque the expence 

232 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

of a neutrality. " Believing himself able to command 
one seat, he does not seem to have cared w^ho secured 
the other. 

On the 26th of April, John St. Albyn, the agent 
for the Luttrell estate, w^rote to enquire whether its 
new owner intended to stand for Parliament. At a 
recent visit to Minehead, he had been told that Whit- 
worth would " risque his whole fortune " and that 
" the new candidate " was determined to get every 
thing that money could procure. This was Percy 
Wyndham O'Brien, the member for Taunton, brother 
of that active politician, Sir Charles Wyndham of 
Orchard. Luttrell, it should be explained, was at the 
time living far away, at Nethway in Devonshire. 

On the 1 6th of May, St. Albyn wrote again rather 
discouragingly : — 

" The common fellows (who make full two thirds of the 
voters) are at present gapeing very wide for money. . . Nothing 
but money and a great deal of it, and gold too, will satisfy 
them... The sentiments of the better sort are much divided, 
some being for Whitworth, others for Carew... Some even 
of those which I thought your very good friends are very 
strenuous for the new candidate, Mr. O'Bryan. If this 
affair goes on, as in appearance it will, it's thought there will 
be a very troublesome and expensive election. " 

" By the best accounts I can get, there are very near 300 
electors in Minehead, and I have had the curiosity, since 
I received your letter, to examine the rent-roll and see how 
many of that number are your tenants, and I cannot pick 
out 90 of them that hold anything under you, and perhaps 
of that 90, 20 at least may be of the opposite party, or liable 
to their influence or corruption ; so that, as lord of the 
manor, you do not appear to be sure of more than about 
one quarter part of the votes, and it may happen too that of 
even one quarter of them some will fail you. Besides, I'm 
informed that if you put your application for the choice but 
even of one single member on the footing of hereditary right, 
it will never go down with them. " 


He considered that " some expence " would cer- 
tainly be necessary to secure the election of the lord 
of the manor. In putting the number of tenants at 
so low a figure, it is clear that he excepted all those 
householders, who, having leases or copyholds for 
lives, were practically independent. 

Eight days later, Luttrell wrote privately to several 
of the chief inhabitants of Minehead, placing himself 
in their hands : — 

" As I am likewise informed that the majority of the 
constituents cry aloud for gold, it is doubtful whether I shall 
have an opportunity of confirming by action what I have 
promised by letter. However, my anxiety for being a 
representative is not so very great as even now to make 
me determine either to offer myself or support a friend at 
the ensuing election, but only ask the free voice of the 
constituents for one or the other, clear of all expence to 
myself On these conditions if you think the borough will 
be unanimous, the greater will be my obligations toward 
you. I too plainly see the rock my father Luttrell foun- 
dered upon to run myself headlong into the same danger. " 

If he stood at all, it would be " entirely on the 
Castle interest. 

A very lengthy and guarded reply written by Wil- 
liam Hayman of Minehead on the ist of June 1747 
has been preserved. According to him, there was a 
general feeling in the town that one of the two 
members should be " a Courtier." ^ Whitworth and 
O'Brien had " under the name of Courtiers " forced 
themselves into the borough, without consulting the 
lord of the manor, who had " a Natural Interest " 
there. Inasmuch, however, as most of the electors 
were " persons of no property, " who had " formerly 
received money " and were " in expectation of the 

' A ' Courtier ' was perhaps a supporter of the Pelham administnation. 


234 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

same gratification, " he was of opinion that nobody 
whatever could be elected without expense. 

" Yesterday was sennight, one Husk, an old servant of 
the late Mr. Whitworth's, set out of London post and came 
here Monday night, and says he was sent down by Mr. 
Whitworth, who was ordered by Mr. Pelham to sound the 
strength of his friends at Minehead, it having been reported 
that Mr. Obrien's interest was vastly superior. His busi- 
ness, Tuesday, was to walk the town with their chief friends, 
to know the intentions of the people, and, I am told, for 1 
was most part of that week abroad, that he met with great 

" In the afternoon it happened that Mr. Leigh, agent for 
Mr. Obrien, came to town, and while the others were at 
the Key, firing gunns and displaying colours, got a great 
number of friends with himself at the Feathers^ where he 
elegantly treated them, and when the others returned from 
the Key and were crying up their friend Whitworth, they 
came out of the inn and cryed their friend Obrien, and by 
throwing up their hatts happened to hit one of the other 
party in the face, which caused a fray that might have set 
the town by the ears, for while the better sort of people 
were fighting, the mobb, happening to be pretty sober, 
remained quiet and it was soon quelled, for the Collector 
was engaged with Jonas, Dr. Godwin with Mr. Devonsheir, 
Mr. Price with Mr. Payne, and various others ; so that what 
the end of this warm opposition may come to before the 
election is over will be hard to say, both parties being now 
warmed with resentment. " 

On the 6th of June, Thomas Carew wrote from 
Lincoln's Inn Fields to say Parliament would be 
dissolved within a fortnight and to ascertain Luttrell's 
intentions with regard to Minehead : — 

" As I was first set up to preserve the interest of Dunster 
Castle in that borough, I can't in honour enter into any 
engagements that may tend to oppose it, but am desirous to 
do all in my power to deliver it back to the lord of the 
borough in case he thinks proper [to] offer himself as a 


candidate, but in case he shall decline, I please my[self] 
with the hopes of not beinga disagreable person to represent 
it again. " 

Luttrell wrote from Nethway in reply that, on his 
marriage he had thought himself " justly entitled to 
the Natural Interest " in the borough and likely to 
be returned " with little or no expense, " but that "a 
contrary interest " had since prevailed. 

" I am sorry I cannot by any means comply with your 
request in strengthening your interest at Minehead, but the 
civilities I have received from my friend Mr. Periam and 
the many solicitations from other gentlemen in his favour 
lays (sic) me under an obligation to serve him to the utmost 
of my power. " 

Nevertheless he expressed a hope that Carew would 
be chosen for Westminster instead. 

Two days later, he issued a letter to the electors of 
Minehead on behalf of Periam. It is worthy of 
remark that, although he did not suggest to them 
how they should bestow their second vote, he wrote 
at the same time to Sir Charles Wyndham recom- 
mending " a junction " of his brother O'Brien with 
Periam against Whitworth. Sir Charles replied from 
Taunton on the 19th of June : — 

" I cannot help wishing you had been so good as to have 
agreed to what I proposed by Mr. Haslam last Christmas, 
when by a junction all manner of opposition might have 
been prevented. I never did propose to thwart the interest 
of your family, nor do I think of it now ; but as my brother 
has hitherto stood upon a single interest and is advised to 
continue to do so, he cannot take any engagements till he 
has conversed with the electors of the borough. " 

On the 1 6th of June, Periam issued a very brief 
address to the electors, not containing the slightest 
reference to political or even to local questions, and 
on the 23rd, he went to Blue Anchor, within a few 

236 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

miles of Minehead, in order to meet some of his 
principal supporters before entering the borough with 
them. The result of the interview, however, was that 
he withdrew his candidature in favour of his late 
colleague, Carew. Two days later, there was a con- 
ference at Somerton between Sir Thomas Acland, 
Henry Fownes Luttrell, John Periam and Thomas 
Carew, which resulted in the retirement of the last 
named. Luttrell was to give a dinner at Dunster 
Castle on the following day, and in the afternoon he 
was to accompany Periam to Minehead, to make a 
public demonstration on his behalf. A few hours 
later, Periam changed his mind once more, on hearing 
that some of his partisans had, since his visit to Blue 
Anchor, transferred their promises to Whitworth. 

Luttrell's absence from Dunster throughout the 
critical period, and Periam's vacillation within a few 
days of the election, led to an eclipse of " the Castle 
interest " in the borough of Minehead, and, on the 
30th of June, Whitworth and O'Brien were returned 
to Parliament without opposition. 

The general election of 1754 was hardly more 
favourable to the lord of Dunster. 

Preparations began in the later part of February, 
when Henry Fownes Luttrell was asked to support 
the candidature of a total stranger, Henry Shiffner, a 
wealthy Russia merchant. The request came at a 
very inconvenient time, and on the 8th of May, he 
wrote from Nethway : — 

" Affairs are so circumstanced at Minehead (as I am about 
disposing of the manor) that it is impossible for me to give 
you an absolute promise of my interest there until such time 
as I see whether I am like to dispose of it or not. However, 
you will find, on an interview with Mr. Cholwick, that I 
have given my word not to propose any other person (besides 


a purchaser or his friend), relying entirely on what he writ 
me that you would not only declare yourself upon the 
Country Interest, but join neither of the present members. " 

There was at the time some idea that ShifFner 
himself would buy the manor. Two other candidates 
were already in the field, the sitting member Whit- 
worth, and a certain Daniel Boone. Percy O'Brien 
was courting the electors of Cockermouth, and his 
brother Charles, who had succeeded to the Earldom 
of Egremont in 1750, was exerting all his influence 
in favour of Boone. On the 6th of March, James 
Gould wrote, apparently from Holnicote : — 

" My Lord says he'll spend ten thousand pounds, and 
Whitworth says he'll sell his estate in this part of the world 
to supply his friends if they'll stand by him this once. 
He writes prodigiously in favour of Mr. Shiffner, and, I 
believe, would be glad to join him. W. Leigh offered 6 
guineas and a crown yesterday morning, but not a [sou]l 
would touch pot or penny. Nothing but guns and bells all 
day long. " 

" My Lord's friends have acted so very imprudently of 
late that the mob is quite inflamed, and a vast many of the 
better most people have deserted his interest. " 

Lord Egremont certainly did not scruple to ask his 
neighbour Sir John Trevelyan to use his influence 
with a certain Mrs. Prowse, whom he describes as 
his " greatest enemy " at Minehead, or to write direct 
to Luttrell soliciting his interest for Boone against a 
candidate " entirely unknown " in the county of 

Luttrell was to some extent hampered by the fact 
that he was High Sheriff for the year, but on the 19th 
of March he issued the following letter from Dunster 
Castle " to the electors of the borough of Minehead " : — 

238 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

" Gentlemen, 

As the station I am in this year renders it a little improper 
for me to make a personal application to you, I am obliged 
to take this method, not only to repeat my recommendation 
of Mr. Shiffner to your choice, but to intreat your votes and 
interest for him at the ensuing election; and that 1 may be 
the better enabled to distinguish who are my real friends in 
the borough of Minehead, must beg the favour that each of 
you (in Mr. Shiffner's interest) will sign your approbation 
of him; which in doing you will infinitely oblige both him, 
and, Gentlemen, your most assured friend and humble 
servant, H. Fownes Luttrell. " 

The document bears the names of i 8 i electors, of 
whom 64 were avowedly illiterate, while the majority 
were by no means skilled penmen. With 1 8 i votes, 
Shiffner would have been certain of one of the seats. 
On the 30th of March, John Marsh, the family 
lawyer in London, wrote to Luttrell ; — 

" 1 am glad to find that there is an opposition at Minehead 
and that you find your interest so much greater then you 
imagined. It will certainly be beneficiall in disposing of the 
burrough. " 

When ShifFner came down to Somerset, he was 
met at Blue Anchor, on the 4th of April by " a 
greater concourse of people than ever was known. " 
Something, however, occurred to arouse " the resent- 
ment of the voters, " and, by the i 3th, he had become 
apprehensive of a coalition between Whitworth and 

" As it becomes us therefore to be extremely watchful, so 
I think no opportunity of keeping up the spirit of Liberty 
which at present prevails, ought to be neglected. " 

He suggested that the Dunster men should be 
invited to breakfast on the day of the poll, and that 
influence should be brought to bear on the country 


voters. The result of the poll, w^hich lasted four 
days was — 

Whitv^^orth, 283. 

Boone, 178. 

ShifFner, 145. 
On the 2nd of May, the defeated candidate wrote 
from London : — 

" I hear Lord Egremont Is greatly disconcerted and very 
angry at the struggle he met with. I wish it could be learnt 
what expence he was at. I imagine it must have been very 
considerable. Tho' I did not give a shilling to buy votes, 
and was only at the expence of treating, &c. 1,200/. does 
not clear my expences. " 

For some weeks, he could hardly contain his rage, 
and his letters abound with allusions to "the indignity 
of the late election, " " perjury and prostitution of 
conscience, " " arbitrary injustice, " " infringements 
on the liberty of the publick," "brethren of iniquity," 
" sycophants, " " half-paced and slack-mettled vil- 
lains. " In one of them dated the 4th of May, he 
describes the manner in which he bearded the Prime 
Minister : — 

" Yesterday morning I went to the Duke of Newcastle. 
I told him that it gave me great concern to find myself and 
friends were thought and declared to be Jacobites by him. 
He staggered a little at the expression. I then told him 
that, on the nth of April, an express came to Mr. Whit- 
worth at Minehead with a letter from his Grace directing 
and insisting upon it that Mr. Whitworth should use his 
interest in Mr. Boon's favour by joining him, ^c. for that 
the person who opposed him and the people that supported 
him were Enemies to the Government. I expatiated on the 
cruelty of such an insinuation. The Duke seemed to vawe 
(waive) the affair as if such letter had not been wrote. On 
which I told him that the letter with the above mentioned 
expression was signed by his Grace's own hand, was seen 

240 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

by some of my friends [and] was owned to be so by 
Mr. Whitworth himself Then it was ' My dear Sir, I did 
not know you personally, but your character can never bear 
such an imputation. ' At parting, I told him I had been 
vilely treated, but that I was resolved to apply for justice 
where I hoped to have more chance of meeting with it; and 
so we parted. 

" Tho' the Duke is a great man, and I am but a private 
man, I think such slurrs should not go unnoticed. In the 
Levee Chamber were Lord Powis, Lord Warwick, Lord 
Peterborough, Mr. Morris of Wales, Councellor Martin 
(member for Camelford, Cornwall), Bishop of Clonfert in 
Ireland (who is Carmicheal, brother to Lord Hyndford and 
to whom I am intimately known), and several others. I 
made my errand the subject of conversation among them 
before I went in to the Duke, and I shall pursue it further 
by waiting on the next principal man, as the Speaker of the 
House of Commons, ^c. to urge the injury of thus playing 
with a man's character to serve a ministerial purpose. " 

Shiffner asserted that he had four precedents of 
elections having been declared void on proof that let- 
ters had been sent by persons in powder to disparage 
the character of a candidate. To say that a politician 
was ' an Enemy to the Government ' was, in his 
opinion, equivalent to stigmatizing him as a Jacobite. 
A short correspondence between Shiffner and Henry 
Fox ended in a declaration by the Secretary at War: — 

" I frankly own my wishes that justice may be on the side 
of Mr. Boon and Lord Egremont. " 

On hearing of this rebuff, Luttrell observed: — 

" What you writ in relation to Mr. Fox greatly pleased 
me and, if possible, gives me a much better opinion of you 
than I ever had, as I always hold those most in esteem that 
appear the most contemptible in the eyes of such a miscreant 
set of wretches. If I did not flatter myself with the hopes 
of your meeting with more justice from others than you will 
receive from Mr. Fox, I should despair of success in your 
undertaking. " 


On the advice of Pratt, afterwards Lord Chancel- 
lor, it was resolved to petition the House of Commons 
against Boone, and also to proceed at common law 
against some of his agents in Somerset, especially 
William Leigh, Lord Egremont's steward. The 
petition when eventually presented, on the 26th of 
November, only called in question the impartiality of 
the returning officers and Boone's pecuniary qualifi- 
cation for a seat in Parliament. Shiffner's main 
grievance was that some forty Dunster men had not 
been allowed to record votes which, if admitted, would 
have turned the scale in his favour. The affidavits 
filed in the criminal suit describe a man who had 
come from Sussex under a false name as sitting at a 
table covered with gold, in an upper room at the 
Plume of Feathers' Inn^ and dispensing five guineas 
apiece to the poorer voters, nominally by way of loan. 
Considering that Boone had less than 600/. a year, on 
his own showing, it seems clear that his expenses, 
legitimate or otherwise, must have been defrayed by 
Lord Egremont. Finding it difficult to refute the 
charges brought against them, Boone's agents retaliat- 
ed by counter-charges of bribery and corruption against 
ShifTher, which he proposed to meet by an indictment 
for subornation of perjury. There was long litigation 
at Westminster Hall, at Bridgewater and at Taunton, 
but after a year the different suits were abandoned, 
to the great relief of the people of Minehead. The 
petition seems also to have been withdrawn. 

Henry Fownes Luttrell was at first hardly less 
angry than his protege at the result of the election 
of 1754, and devised some vindictive measures. After 
a while, however, he came to realize that conciliation 
was a better policy. In January 1757, he distributed 
half a bushel of wheat apiece to 202 "voters of the 


242 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

borough of Minehead, " impartially including many 
who had supported Boone against ShifFner, some 
whose votes had been disallowed, and some new voters. 
He also gave occasional venison feasts to the principal 

In November 1757, a private agreement appears to 
have been made between him and Lord Egremont to 
the effect that, at the next general election, they should 
choose only one candidate apiece and that they should 
combine against any third candidate who might offer 
himself. At the election of 1761, Lord Egremont 
brought forward his brother Percy, the former Mem- 
ber for Minehead, who had been created a peer of 
Ireland, under the title of Earl of Thomond, and 
who wanted a seat because the borough of Cocker- 
mouth had been bought by Sir John Lowther. 
Boone, broken in health, disappeared from the scene, 
and Whitworth did not stand. The polling was 
accomplished in one day, and on the 28th of March 
the result was declared as follows : — 

Henry Shiffner, 287. 

Lord Thomond, 226. 

Lord Clanbrasill, 69. 
Out of the 291 electors who recorded their votes, 
only four failed to give one to Shiffner. This success, 
however, was not attained without eventual expense 
to him or his patron. There is in Luttrell's hand- 
writing a very significant " List of voters at Mine- 
head that refused taking the 3 guineas, 1761," the 
number of electors who disdained such a reward being 
exactly thirty. Their names are repeated in a " List 
of voters in Minehead asked to dine at Dunster Castle, 
8 September 1763, having not taken the 3 guineas 
after the election, " and they were invited again in 
August 1764. 


The connexion between Luttrell and Shiffner had 
by this time ripened into a warm friendship, and the 
new Member of ParHament wrote frequently to the 
squire of Dunster. One of his letters dated 1 1 De- 
cember 1762 is of more than local and personal 
interest. In this he says : — 

" Thursday was the day for taking the Preliminaries into 
consideration, when places were taken at 7 o'clock in the 
morning in the House, where assembled about 430 Mem- 
bers, and the debate began about 3 o'clock. It is impossible to 
enter into the whole particulars of it, which lasted till 1 2 o'clock 
at night, when upon a division the numbers stood thus : — 
319 for the approval of the Peace ; 
6^ against the approval of it. 

Several Members went away before the division. 

" Mr. Pitt, very gouty, attended with a crutch, and was 
indulged to stand and sitt down alternatively, and indeed I 
think in his circumstances of health he required that in- 
dulgence, as his speech lasted three hours and twenty-six 
minutes^ the most laboured and the worst speech I ever 
heard him make. In short, it seemed to be an apology for 
his inflexibility in not agreeing to a Peace last year, arraign- 
ing the present Peace article by article, and was couched in 
terms and expressed as if meant to lay a foundation for 
popular insurrection. In short,he fairly fatigued the attention 
of the whole House, and went out as soon as he had finisht 
his speech. He was answered by Mr. Charles Townsend 
verbatim in twenty-five minutes, and, in my opinion, 
confuted in every argument which he had given us by 
repetition upon repetition. After this there appeared so 
great an inattention in the House from the tiresomeness 
which a speech of 3 hours and 26 minutes had occasioned, 
that tho' several spoke pro and con^ yet no sort of attention 
appeared to be given to it. " 

" When Mr. Pitt came into the House, the people in the 
Lobby made such a hollow as, I own, startled me and I 
believe almost every Member of the House, and the same 
was repeated when he withdrew. " ' 

' Of. Jesse's Life and reign of George the Third, vol. i. pp. 157-159. 

244 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

" Yesterday, the Report of the Address which had the 
preceding day been determined upon to the King was made, 
when unexpectedly the debate revived, and tho' I thought 
to have been at home at 4 o'clock to dinner, I did not 
accomplish my intention till ^ past eleven at night, when 
we had another division : — 

227 agreeing to the Address ; 
63 dissenting from it. " 

"The Opposition consisted of the friends of the Duke of 
Newcastle, the Duke of Devonshire, the Duke of Grafton, 
and Mr. Pitt, and Lord Hardwick, and the main stress of 
their argument seemed to be so contrived as to raise in the 
people an apprehension of the Prerogative being extended 
contrary to Revolution principles, a most dangerous poison 
for vulgar minds and artfully contrived as well as artfully 
applied in order to raise popular tumult against the Govern- 
ment, with hopes of displacing the present Administration 
and replacing themselves. 

They.... wish to revive the odious distinction of Tory and 
Whig which, thank God, seems sunk in oblivion. " 

Shiffner kept his friends at Dunster Castle supplied 
not only with parliamentary news but also with his 
signatures enabling their letters to go free through 
the post. On one occasion alone, he sent down 
" eight dozen of half-sheet covers and sixteen dozen 
of quarter-sheet covers, " with a promise of more 
when required. 

During the Parliament of 1761, the Luttrell inter- 
est in the borough of Minehead was kept alive by 
venison feasts, suppers at the local inns, doles and the 
like. Preparations for another election began as early as 
September 1766. In that month there are lists of 
about sixteen " gentlemen of the Bowling Green Club 
who had half a buck sent 'em and Sir Jacob's bowl 
of punch " and about twenty " other gentlemen who 
are not of the above club and for whom half a buck 
is sent to be dressed at the Plume of Feathers with Sir 


Jacob's bowl of punch. " In November, Dr. Richard 
Brocklesby, an eminent physician practising in Lon- 
don, conceived the idea of emancipating the borough 
in which he had been born from the sway of the 
neighbouring magnates, and obtaining for it at least 
one representative of acknowledged reputation. By 
his advice, apparently, some of the principal inhabit- 
ants of Minehead resolved to approach the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, Charles Townshend. Lord Tho- 
mond at once took alarm and tried to effect an alliance 
with the lord of Dunster against the common foe. 
When the news reached Luttrell, he wrote as follows 
to Leonard Herring, vicar of Minehead : — 

" The late severe loss 1 have sustained has made home 
become very dull and insipid to me, and therefore I have 
some thoughts of changing the scene and going into Parlia- 
ment. If 1 persevere in my present intentions, I shall of 
course offer myself for Minehead at the ensuing election, 
and, if I succeed, 1 hope to have it more in my power to 
serve the publick and my friends. I purpose to communi- 
cate this intended scheme of mine soon to Mr. Shiffner, 
that he may look out for some other borough in case I 
should carry it into execution. 

"I must also inform you that I have received undoubted 
intelligence that Lord Thomond intends to offer himself or 
his friend at the next election and is moreover determined 
to support the Egremont interest. If this should be the case, 
and Mr. Townsend is promised one vote certain, whether 
he is in power or not, what is to become of me or my 
friend .'' 

" I am totally cut off from any junction with either by the 
promises I have made and which I have to adhere to what- 
ever the consequence may be. I only intend to ask for 
one vote, either for myself or my friend, and I think I have 
as much right to expect a certainty of it as Mr. Charles 
Townsend or any other person. If the gentlemen of Mine- 
head are determined to engage themselves to this great man, 
I submit it to their consideration whether they should not 

246 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

do it conditionally if he is in power at the next election; for 
otherwise, should he be stripped of his employments before 
that time, their promises will continue to the man and not 
to the Minister. " 

On the 14th of December, ShifFner wrote : — 

I am very sensible of the state of the borough, and do 
expect at the general election several fresh candidates, a 
greater number than, I believe, have for many years offered 
themselves at the borough of Minehead. The sharper the 
contest, the more glorious will be the victory. Lord Tho- 
mond intends to push a friend, who I know not. Whit- 
worth says he shall meet me there with somebody he intends 
to recommend. " 

The next move was a circular letter from Charles 
Whitworth, the former Member, dated 29 January 
1767, announcing that if two hundred electors would 
sign a paper promising their votes to him and his 
friend, "an eminent merchant in the City of London," 
they would establish " proper annual schooling for 
the education of poor voters' children " and encourage 
other plans for the benefit of the town. The eminent 
merchant, unnamed, was doubtless to provide the 
necessary money. On the ist of February, John 
Short wrote from Minehead to Henry Fownes Luttrell 
at Nethway: — 

"I have just time to tell you that Mr. Whitworth has 
declared himself a candidate for this borough and that Dr. 
Question have (jzV) received a letter from him referring him 
to one which Mr. Warren has, wherein he promises to give 
the poor fellows ten guineas a man, and that Stroude and 
Powell have been amongst them. The bells have been 
ringing this evening, I suppose upon that ocasion. " 

In reply Luttrell declared that Whitworth's " bold 
stroke" gave him "no manner of concern," adding: — 

" His promise of ten guineas a man who will give him 
both votes may be thought by some an alluring bait, but 


when the generality of the town come seriously to consider 
that places, as well as a little temporary cash, will be wanted, 
I presume they will think of some other person to serve 
them, who will be more capable of doing it than, I appre- 
hend, is in Mr. Whitworth's or any merchant's power 
to do. " 

Shiffner also affected to be quite unconcerned, 
suggesting that his supporters might get some enter- 
tainment at Whitworth's expense. 

On the 8th of March, the vicar wrote to Lut- 
trell :— 

" Last Friday, the subscription-book was opened by Robert 
Fry, in order to engage 200 votes at ten guineas a man for 
one vote, when 105 signed the paper, and have absolutely 
engaged to stand by his friend let him be Hack or white. 
They are adding to that number daily and as soon as the 
subscription is full, the book is to be shut, and, I suppose, 
he (Whitworth) will then go upon 'Change. Mr. Adams 
has joined him, but I dont hear of any other gentleman. 
This is pushing you and your friend confounded hard. 

" As the affair now stands, your real friends would be 
greatly obliged by you if you would let them know your 
final resolutions, for they are almost ripe for rebellion and 
are ready to fight him through all his weapons. 

" The corn you have sold to the poor of this town is 
looked upon as no favour, for they publickly declare they 
will stand by that man that will give most. By what 1 can 
learn, they are determined to run you extremely hard. " 

On the 14th, Luttrell issued his address to the 
election saying : — 

" I offer myself unconnected with Mr. Shiffner and every 
other person, and having no intentions of asking for any 
place for myself, I think I can with the greater propriety 
apply to Government on behalf of a friend. " 

Various persons at Minehead had desired places as 
excisemen, tide-waiters and the like. Just a week 
later, the vicar wrote to Luttrell : — 

248 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

" Your letter gave a very general satisfaction to the 
principal people of the town, and we are all determined to 
carry the election for you at all events. We canvassed the 
borough for you yesterday, when we made a most noble 
appearance, having almost every man in town of any conse- 
quence to attend us, excepting some few that were ill. " 

" We shall all make a point of carrying this election, 
notwithstanding the strong opposition that is talked off; 
and if you'll send down 200/. to be distributed as we see 
necessary, I'll return you by the following post a fixed 
majority, in defiance of all their efforts. 'Tis the opinion 
of us all that something of this kind must be immediately 
done. To save every expense in our power, we have entered 
into an agreement never to have one public dinner, and if 
you expect our company in the evening, we shall insist on 
having nothing but a welch rabbit. 

" I should be glad if Mr. Shiffner would drop all thoughts 
of coming to Minehead and go with me into Cornwall, 
where I am well assured he will meet with a most agreeable 
reception. " 

ShifFner, how^ever, was not to be so easily shaken off. 
On the 24th of April he issued a printed notice to 
the voters that he w^as " firmly determined " to " wait 
on them at the next election, " and repeating " in the 
most solemn manner the declaration he made, that 
he has not any concert, connexion or correspondence 
with Mr. Luttrell or any other candidate, directly or 
indirectly." Twenty-nine of the principal inhabitants 
of Minehead were invited to dine at Dunster Castle 
on the 27th of April. 

In the course of the next few months, the negoti- 
ation with Charles Townshend was terminated by 
his premature death, and Lord Thomond betook 
himself to Winchelsea. On the other hand, a project 
was formed of inviting the Duke of Grafton to 
send down a purely ministerial candidate. The Duke 
himself encouraged it openly, and some of the electors 


who had promised one vote to Luttrell were willing 
to sign the proposed memorial. Luttrell, however, 
took umbrage at it, and, acting with unwonted 
energy, went up to London to oppose the scheme at 
head-quarters. The result of this move was that the 
Government gave him the immediate patronage of all 
offices at Minehead, presumably in consideration of a 
promise of support in the next House of Commons. 
On the 2nd of October, the vicar wrote to him : — 

" ' Luttrell for ever ' is now the general cry to serve both 
high and low. You never had a more favourable opport- 
unity of putting in another member than at present, if you 
can but compromise affairs with Mr. Shiffner, which, 1 
imagine could easily be done thro' the Duke of Grafton. " 

" A pleasing smile you may see in the faces of three parts 
of the people in town, while the others have their chins down 
to the fifth buttonhole. " 

Five days later, he wrote again : — 

" If you can but adjust this affair with Mr. Shiffner, your 
friend must come in without opposition. 

The grandiloquent Shiffner had clearly lost much 
of his popularity, and in this contest he had not the 
overt support of his friend at Dunster Castle. 

Parliament was dissolved on the iith of March 
1768, and a little after nine o'clock on the morning 
of the 1 8th, proclamation was made at the cross, or 
market-place, of Minehead. The precept and the 
bribery oath were then read and three candidates 
proposed. " Mr. Shiffner offered himselt as their 
former Member; Mr. Whitworth offered himself; 
Mr. Luttrell offered by Mr. Hayman. They then 
adjourned to the polling room and began the poll 
about ten. " As it was well known beforehand that 
the great majority of the electors would give one vote 
to Luttrell, the contest was practically left to the two 
other candidates, each of whom alternately sent up 


250 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

a ' tally, ' or batch, of ten supporters. For hours 
therefore they appeared to be running neck and neck, 
each, however, keeping the chief local magnates in 
reserve till the end. Shiffner was the first to be 
exhausted, and the poll was closed about four o'clock, 
when the result was declared : — 

Luttrell, 301. 

Whitworth, 197. 

Shiffner, 167. 
Very few of the electors had divided their votes 
between Whitworth and Shiffner, and still fewer had 
tendered only one vote. The defeated candidate 
again threatened a petition, but nothing came of it. 
A minute account has been preserved of Luttrell's 
expenses in connexion with this election, extending 
over a year and a half, from April 1767 to October 
1768, and amounting in all to 1,868/. 5J-. 9^. In the 
first of these years the chief items were for wheat sold 
to the poor at a reduction and over 300/. "gave to 
the poor voters " in cash. In order to keep clear of 
the acts against bribery, no promises of support had 
been exacted from them in return for this voluntary 
distribution. Altogether two hundred and eighty-seven 
electors had pocketed a guinea apiece without scruple. 
A separate list gives the names of fifty-five "gentlemen 
who will not take money. " On the day of the 
canvass at the beginning of March, ^^Ib. of gun- 
powder had been consumed, and compensation was 
eventually paid for windows broken by the firing of 
the guns. A few days before the election, there had 
been sports in a field behind a house on the quay. 
Sailors in sacks had run for " a pair of handsome 
trowsers, " and landmen in sacks had run for a hat. 
Women had run for " a handsome pair of stays " and 
" a handsome shift, " and girls " tied back to back " 


had run for a pair of pumps that cost 3J-. The maids 
from the Castle had of course been bedecked with 
suitable ribbons. The customary fees paid on the 
day of the election to the crier, to eight constables, 
to as many chairmen, to two drummers, to a fiddler 
and others, amounted in all to less than i 2/. A great 
part of the account is occupied with expenditure on 
beef, bread, cheese, ale, wine, rum and the like. It 
is more interesting to observe that on the fourth day 
after the election, Luttrell's permanent agent went to 
Minehead Quay and there openly gave four guineas 
to every sailor who had voted for his employer. In 
the course of the next few weeks, a like amount was 
given to different landmen, those who had not re- 
ceived a guinea in the previous year, but who had duly 
voted for Luttrell, receiving five guineas apiece. Al- 
together, the "cash given the voters after the election" 
by his agent amounted to close upon 1,000/. We 
have no record of the sums given by Whitworth to 
those of his supporters who had taken Luttrell's 
guinea in 1767. Although Luttrell's agent somehow 
got a list of the voters who had received money from 
Shiffner, each candidate seems to have adhered hon- 
ourably to his declaration that he had no connexion 
with either of the others. 

The election of 1768 was barely over before Lutt- 
rell, flushed with success, began to prepare for another, 
with the intention of securing both seats. On the 
1 6th of April, Sir Thomas Acland wrote to him from 
Holnicote, near Minehead : — 

" I am persuaded that your weight and property in the 
borough, properly managed, would with little trouble secure 
to you the nomination of both members. 

It would not be consistent with that candour which ought 
to be observed, were I not to say that I ca'nt (as matters are at 

252 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

present circumstanced) think of serving Mr. ShifFner, or of 
opposing Mr. Whitworth, for whom I have some regard. " 

On the same day, invitations like the follow^ing 
were issued to some of the principal inhabitants of 
Minehead : — 

" Mr. Luttrell presents his compliments to Mr. Thomas 
Brown, and having declared his intentions of offering his 
friend as well as himself for Minehead at any future election, 
he hopes Mr. Brown will support the nomination and give 
Mr. Luttrell the pleasure of his company at Dunster Castle 
next Thursday to dinner. " 

One cautious elector, who could not accept the 
invitation, replied that he would support Luttrell and 
his friend " provided this friend, when known, shall 
appear deserving of the choice and suffrage of a free 
people. " The name of the " friend " was not, how- 
ever, disclosed. Periodical dinners and " buck-feasts " 
at the Plume of Feathers may have tended to maintain 
the Castle interest, but, in the summer of 1773, there 
were serious " differences " between the townsmen 
of Minehead and their senior representative, apparently 
on some local question. 

During three days at the beginning of August 1774, 
the borough of Minehead was systematically canvassed 
on behalf of Henry Fownes Luttrell and his "friend, " 
who was his eldest son, John Fownes Luttrell. Some 
tew electors wished to reserve their second vote for 
ShifFner, in the event of his coming forward again. 
Shortly afterwards a legal opinion was obtained from 
John Heath, K.C. : — 

" The only statute prohibiting candidates from treating 
electors is the 7th of King William the 3rd. This prohibit- 
ion does not take place in the case of a General Election 
untill the writts of election are ordered for the ensuing 
election. But at Common Law I conceive that all enter- 


tainments given with an avowed intent to procure votes at 
an election are illegal. 

" I think that you may still defray the expences at the 
monthly clubb, entertain your tenants at holding your Man- 
our Courts, pay the ringers, and reward the sailors who 
have attended you, in the usual way untill the writts for the 
ensuing election shall be ordered or issued ; and then such 
entertainments and gratuities should cease. 

" It is most prudent to avoid giving any extraordinary 
entertainment, but no law prohibits you from entertaining 
your friends at your house before the issuing or ordering 
of the writts of election, tho' such friends should be voters, 
or even afterwards, if it be not in great numbers, or in an 
extraordinary way. " 

On the 29th of August, Richard Cox of Minehead 
wrote to say that Sir Charles Whitworth had announ- 
ced his intention of coming to the town with a friend, 
" a person of great fortune and of undeniable char- 
acter, " in about a fortnight. 

" The common people are in great spirits, as they are 
made to believe that they shall have twenty guineas at least 
a man. Andrew Boucher has got a paper headed so that 
all those that chuse to support Whitworth's friend are to 
sign their names so. I am told 170 has allready signed it. " 

" It is the oppinion of all your friends that it will be 
absolutely necessary for you to canvass the bourough before 
Whitworth comes downe, and I do intirely agree with them 
in opinion, although I do'nt tell them so. My dear Mr. 
Luttrell, do'nt mind a little trouble. I am certain it will 
save you many pounds. " 

Trouble was just what Luttrell disliked. Many of 
his letters begin with apologies for delay in writing. 
In point of fact Whitworth was soon established by 
the Government in a safe seat at East Looe. ^ 

On the 3rd of October, a certain Mr. Barnfather 
came down to Minehead as a candidate. He was 

' Historical MSS. Comm. x. Appendix vi. pp. 6, 7. 

254 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

met at Alcombe Cross by some thirty of the inhabit- 
ants and went into the town preceded by a drum. 
A canvass that afternoon and the next day resuhed in 
the promise of only forty-five votes, and so he took 
his departure, after sending a civil letter to Dunster 
Castle saying that he had been " greatly misled by 
the intimations which he had received while in 
London, " and that he would not put Mr. Luttrell 
to any further trouble or unnecessary expense. 

The final canvass for the two Luttrells was on the 
4th and the Court Leet of Minehead was held on the 
5th, when some of the jury subscribed 2s. bd. apiece, 
so that there should not be the slightest appearance of 
treating on the part of the lord of the manor, the writs 
for the General Election having been issued. On the 
5th and 7th there was " nothing doing in Minehead." 

On the 8th, " Mr. Luttrell and Mr. J. Luttrell, with 
Mr. Henry, Alexander and Francis Luttrell, Mr. Hayne 
and Mr. Milward, set out from Dunster a little before 10, 
and at Alcombe Cross met the colours, drums, and violins, 
chamber gun men and a very great number of the principal 
and other voters and others. 

" All walked from thence into Minehead ; first colours, 
drums and violins ; next the two constables with their staffs ; 
next Mr. and Mr. J. Luttrell with their hats off; and all 
others followed. Stopt some time at Mr. Cox's and all 
went from thence in same manner to Market Place, where 
the cryer proclaimed silence three times. Then Mr. Warren 
read the precept and publication of it. Then Mr. Hayman 
swore the two constables, and after Mr. Baston read the 
Bribery Act. Then Mr. Luttrell offered himself; then 
Mr. J. Luttrell offered himself, candidates. Then the con- 
stables and candidates adjourned to the Market House for 
polling. " 

Ten electors and the two constables recorded a vote 
apiece for each candidate. After a few more formal- 
ities, Mr. Cox declared them duly elected. They 


returned thanks, which were received with applause, 
and were then carried to Mr. Cox's house in two 

" Then all dispersed and Mr. Luttrell ^c. came home to 
dinner, not having spent a penny on either of his canvasses 
or election or in any other way on the voters." 

Was not Minehead a model constituency .? Was 
there ever a more virtuous election-agent than George 
Gale, who wrote as above ? Less than four months 
later, the same George Gale was busily occupied in 
distributing gold pieces among the electors of Mine- 
head. There were three categories : — " Voters who 
would not accept of the five guineas ; voters who 
accepted of the 5 guineas ; voters who would have 
been against Mr. Luttrell, so had nothing given 
them. " There is a short summary in Luttrell's 
own hand : — 

"95 voters at 5 guineas each 498/. 155. 

Colour-men, ^c. ^'c 29/. 8 j. 

10 more to take 50 guineas 

About 30 voters more who are to be allowed the five 
guineas out of their rents. 150 guineas." 

In the accounts 635/. 5/. are entered as " gratuities 
given the poor voters." One hundred and eighteen 
of "the common voters" were entertained at different 
public houses on the 20th of October at a charge of 
5J. a head. On the same day " the principal voters " 
received " a treat " or " general feast " at the Plume 
of Feathers Inn comprising both dinner and supper. 

A fortnight after the election. Lord North, then 
Prime Minister, wrote to Luttrell : — 

" As there is nobody whom 1 can wish to see Member 
for Minehead in preference to you, 1 cannot but rejoice at 
the determination that you have taken of representing that 
borough yourself. But as you seem in your letter [to 

256 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

J. Robinson] to express some discontent at the conduct of 
Administration with respect to the election, I beg leave to 
state in a few words what my conduct has been in the 
whole course of this transaction. 

" From the time that you explained to me that the 
borough was intirely in your hands, I have always disposed 
of the offices there at your recommendation. That Sir 
Charles Whitworth should not be tempted to give you any 
trouble, I fixed him above half a year ago as a candidate for 
Dover. As soon as I heard from you that he was making 
some stir at Minehead, I wrote to him to desist. It was 
from your own suggestion that 1 first thought of recom- 
mending a candidate at Minehead, and it was upon your 
objecting to Mr. Legge and appearing, as I thought, willing 
to accept of my recommendation of another gentleman, that 
I took the liberty of mentioning Governor Pownall to you. 

" This, I solemnly declare, is all that I have done with 
respect to Minehead, and I cannot conceive how you can 
form, from any part of this conduct, an idea that I look upon 
it as a Government borough. If you have changed your 
opinion, and, instead of bringing in a gentleman at my 
recommendation, as you seemed inclined to do when I last 
heard from you, are now determined to represent Minehead 
yourself, I do not complain of it, but if you take this step 
from any jealousy of me, give me leave to tell you that 
your jealousy is groundless and unreasonable." 

It does not appear that Henry Fownes Luttrell 
had any real zest for Parliamentary life. He was 
probably far happier with his hounds and his fighting 
cocks in Devon or Somerset than in London. Having 
secured both seats at Minehead at the General 
Election, he was confident that nobody could with- 
stand his interest at a by-election for one seat, and 
he was in a position to negotiate profitably with 
Lord North or with that famous dealer in boroughs, 
John Robinson. There is in his handwriting a 
memorandum which, although undated, may almost 
certainly be referred to the autumn of 1774: — 


" Preliminaries to be settled previous to my ^c. 

Five hundred pounds to be paid at all events. In case 
the person is returned, 3 or 2500/. more to be paid within 
one month after such return. 

Not to ask for any place belonging to the town of Govern- 
ment, unless by Mr.... desire. 

Not to offer himself or his friend for the borough at the 
next General Election, nor upon any vacancy that may 
happen in the meanwhile, unless by Mr.... approbation. 
The person to pay all his own and servants (.'') ^c. expenses." 

Whether all these conditions v^ere accepted does 
not appear, but it is certain that Henry Fownes 
Luttrell resigned his seat within a few weeks of the 
General Election, and that Thomas Pownall, a support- 
er of the Ministry, was chosen to fill the place, on 
the 31st of December 1774. The expenses of this 
by-election amounted to less than 50/. Seventy-eight 
of the elite of Minehead were invited to a ball in 
October 1775. In Parliament, Pownall distinguished 
himself by his independence of political parties, espe- 
cially with regard to the American question.^ 

At the general election of 1780, Henry Fownes 
Luttrell pursued the policy which had proved so 
successful in 1774, and announced that his interest 
would be exercised in favour of two candidates bear- 
ing the name of Luttrell. The proceedings have been 
minutely recorded by George Gale : — 

" Monday, September 4th. The writ dated this day and 
brought by the Sheriff's bailiff to Dunster Castle and staid 
there all night. 

Tuesday 5th. The writ delivered to Mr. Chappell, the 
Constable, by the Sheriff's man at half past ten in the 
morning and pubHshed immediately for election to come 
on Saturday 9 September at eleven in morning. N.B. Mr. 
Luttrell gave the Sheriff"'s officer loj. 6^. The colours and 
music and guns at Alcomb Cross. 

' Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xlvi. p. 264. 


258 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

Wednesday 6th. Mr. J. F. Luttrell and Mr. F. F. Luttrell 
offered themselves and began canvassing about eleven and 
ended about half after six, attended by Mr. Luttrell, 
Mr. Russell and son, Mr. Cuttiff, and a great number of 
the gentry of the town. George Gale attended to take 
minutes. Not one dyssenting voyce. 

Thursday 6th. Mr. J. Luttrell and Mr. F. F. Luttrell, 
attended by young Mr. Russell and Revd Mr. James 
Camplin, and from Bratton by some of the town gentlemen, 
canvassed the country, except the two Mynes and Green- 
aleigh. Came back to dinner at the first sitting at the 
Luttrell Arms Inn. 

Friday 8th. At home all day, nothing doing. 

Saturday 9th. A little after ten, Mr. Luttrell on horse- 
back, Mr. J. Luttrell and Mr. F. F. Luttrell in the chaise, 
Mr. Russell and son, Mr. Cuttiff, self and Mr. Crang, Mr. 
Roberts and others of Dunster, set out on horseback and 
were met by several of the Minehead gentlemen on horse- 
back between Dunster and Elicombe Cross where Mr. 
Cox took the constables foremost and all the horse follow- 
ing two and two and then the chaise with the two candidates 
followed close after and passing a concourse of people at 
Alcomb Cross they halted immediately beyond while the 
guns fired and three huzzas given, the colours iffc. being 
ahead. Then proceeded first the colours and music and 
after them the clubmen with their white staffs, then the 
constables and after them all the horsemen two and two, 
and then the chaise with the candidates, and proceeded to 
town. The colours ^c. halting a little below, the horses were 
taken away and the chaise came forward and the two candi- 
dates came out at Mr. Cox's where all stopt and the guns 
firing behind till the oaths i^c. were ingrossed. Then pro- 
ceeded the colours drums and music, with the two constables 
close after and the two candidates with hats off following, 
and all the people after, on to the Market place, where a 
table was placed and a chair to get on it. Then the two cons- 
tables and Mr. Bastone read the Sheriffs precept and publi- 
cation of it. (Bribery Act should have been read.) Then 
two constables sworn and signed the aflidavit taken by Mr. 
Hayman, Then Mr. Bastone read the Bribery Act, which 
should have been read before the two constables were sworn. 


Then constables asked voters who they proposed. The 
answer was J. F. Luttrell and F. F. Luttrell, Esqrs. and 
three huzzas, (but the two candidates should [have] offered.) 
Then removed to polHng house. " 

There William Hayman, who is described as 
' esquire ' and nine others v\^hose names are prefixed 
by ' Mr, ' recorded a vote apiece for the two candi- 

"Then silence proclaimed and proclamation made and 
asked by the constables if anyone chused to set up or vote 
for any other person, or any other person offered as a candi- 
date, to which " No " was answered, and then the constables 
polled for the same gentlemen, and, silence being proclaimed 
again, the constables said that on casting up the votes they 
found the majority in favour of John Fownes Luttrell and 
Francis Fownes Luttrell, Esquires, and therefore declared 
them duly elected. 

" Then Mr. John Fownes Luttrell addressed himself to 
the people thanking them for the present as well as past 
favours and hoped to continue to merit them. Then Mr. 
Francis Fownes Luttrell addressed himself to them and 
thanked them for the favour conferred on him and his pro- 
ceedings in the trust will give them satisfaction so as to merit 
it. Then three huzzas given. 

" The two elected members were carried in two chairs to 
Mr. Cox's and the populace following they were there again 
thanked by the two elected members and by Mr. Luttrell, 
and then they dispersed quietly, and not a farthing spent in 
the canvass or election. " 

Henry Fownes Luttrell died on the 30th October 
1780, and was buried at Dunster. By Margaret his 
wife he had issue altogether ten children : — 

Alexander, born on the 31st of March 1749, baptiz- 
ed at Dunster on the following day, and buried 
there three months later. 

John, his heir. 

26o A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. vii. 

Henry, born at Tetton on the 30th of July 1753. 
He became a Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards 
Blue, but died early. He was probably the sub- 
ject of a portrait at Dunster Castle of a young man 
in a blue coat with bars of gold lace and a white 
silk waistcoat. He was buried at Dunster on the 
4th of January 1777. 

Alexander (2). ^ 

Francis. ^ 

Thomas, born at Dunster on the loth of February, 
1763. Entering the army in 1782 as an Ensign 
in the 89th Foot, he became a Lieutenant in the 
49th Foot in the following year and Captain in 
1787. From that year until 1800, he was Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of the Somersetshire Fencible In- 
fantry. In October 1807, he married Catherine 
daughter of John Cave Browne of Stretton-in-le- 
fields in Derbyshire. ^ Dying on the 1 9th of January 
181 1, he was buried eight days later in the Abbey 
Church at Bath. 

Margaret (Peggy), born at Dunster on Christmas Day 
1747 and baptized there. When she was between 
three and four years old, she was painted at full 
length by Richard Phelps with a dog beside her. In 
April 1769, she sat in London to an artist of a very 
different calibre. Sir Joshua Reynolds's list of 
sitters for that month records the name of 'Miss 
Luttrell, ' and there is a note in his hand : — 
" When Miss Luttrell is finished to write Mr. Lutt- 
rell, Dunster Castle, Somersetshire." With this clear 
evidence before them, biographers of Reynolds have 
gone out of their way to describe the subject as the 
daughter of an Irish peer and the sister of the 

', », See Appendix. » Monthly Magazine, p. 141. 

Si): .7. h'eijUKlds 



Duchess of Cumberland. ^ The original portrait 
and a contemporary copy of it are alike at Dunster 
Castle. One of them has hung there ever since it 
was finished. The other belonged for some seventy 
years to successive members of the Southcote 
family, for on the 24th of April 1769, when the 
picture was barely finished, Margaret Fownes 
Luttrell was married, at St. Anne's Soho, to 
John Henry Southcote, of Buckland Toutsaints, 
and Stoke Fleming in Devonshire. There is a 
portrait of him also at Dunster Castle, painted some 
fifteen or twenty years later and attributed to Opie. 
Mrs. Southcote died in 1792. Her husband sur- 
vived until 1820. ' 

Anne, baptized at Dunster on the 4th of July 1750 
and buried there on the i8th of August. 

Anne (2), baptized at Dunster on the 30th of June 175 i 
and buried there on the ist of August. 

Anne (3), baptized at Dunster on the 4th of May 1758 
and buried there on the 1 2th of August. 

Margaret Fownes Luttrell, the heiress of Dunster, 
having died in 1766, her husband remained a wid- 
ower for some years. In 1 771, he married Frances 
daughter of Samuel Bradley of Dunster, who claimed 
descent from the Luttrells through her mother. 
After his death, she resided at Taunton, but she was 
buried at Dunster in November 1803. 

' Leslie & Taylor's Life of Sir J. * Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxix. 

Reynolds, vol. i. p. 347; Graves. p. 270. 


The Fownes Luttrells of Dunster 

John Fownes Luttrell, eldest son of Henry and 
Margaret, was baptized at Dunster on the 24th of 
June 1752. He matriculated at Queen's College, 
Oxford, in 1770, but did not proceed to a degree. 
As has been seen above, he was returned to Parliament 
for the borough of Minehead in 1774, and again in 
1780. On the death of his father in November of 
the latter year, he succeeded to the family estates, 
but some little time seems to have elapsed before he 
rewarded with four guineas apiece those of the Mine- 
head electors who had supported him at the poll. In an 
" alphabetical list of voters, " there is a note by George 
Gale — " those marked ' Gent. ' do not take money and are 
invited to the annual treats." Among these ' gentlemen' 
were the local surgeons, the captains of several ships, 
a farmer, a butcher, a glazier, and a roper. 

In the early part of 1783, Francis Fownes Luttrell, 
thejunior member for Minehead, accepted the steward- 
ship of the Chiltern Hundreds, and his brother brought 
in Henry Beaufoy of Shropshire, without a word of 
opposition. The exact terms of the agreement between 
them are not recorded, but it may fairly be assumed 
that the stranger was made to pay. 

After the dissolution of Parliament in the following 


year, John Fownes Luttrell and Henry Beaufoy were 
re-elected for Minehead, but the latter, having been 
returned also for Great Yarmouth, decided to serve 
for the East Anglian borough. Charles Phipps of 
Mulgrave Hall, in Yorkshire, was chosen in his stead, 
but died in 1786 and was succeeded by Robert Wood 
of Lyme Grove, in Surrey. 

At the General Election of 1790, John Fownes 
Luttrell was returned for Minehead, together with 
George, Viscount Parker, who was appointed Con- 
troller of the Household in the following year. Al- 
though there had not been any contest, sixty-one of 
the electors eventually received four guineas apiece. 
When Lord Parker succeeded to the Earldom of 
Macclesfield in 1795, Luttrell was unprovided with a 
suitable candidate willing to purchase a fairly safe seat. 
In order therefore to maintain the interest of Dunster 
Castle in the borough, he put forward his own brother, 
Thomas Fownes Luttrell, who was duly elected. 

After a long period of tranquillity, the little borough 
of Minehead was, in 1796, agitated by a severe elect- 
oral contest, four candidates coming forward for the 
two seats. On the one side were John Fownes 
Luttrell of Dunster Castle and his brother Colonel 
Thomas Fownes Luttrell; on the other John Langston 
of Sarsden House in Oxfordshire, and Rear-Admiral 
Charles Morice Pole. Whether there was any politi- 
cal question at issue does not appear. The electors 
were, however, exhorted by Langston and his friends 
to free themselves from " tyrannic sway." The poll 
was opened on Saturday the 28th of May and closed 
on the evening of the 30th, when the Luttrells were 
exhausted and their opponents in almost the same 
condition. The result of the voting was not entirely 
satisfactory to either side : — 

264 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

J. Fownes Luttrell, 97, 

J. Langston, 94, 

T. Fownes Luttrell, 85, 

C. M. Pole, 82. 

John Fownes Luttrell and John Langston were ac- 
cordingly returned to Westminster. 

After the election was over, a list was made of no 
less than eighty-two persons who had promised one 
vote to John Fownes Luttrell, but who at the poll 
recorded both their votes against him. Considering 
that several of these ' turncoats ' were tenants who 
had not for several years paid the rent due to him, it 
is clear that his opponents must have offered them 
some very substantial inducement to vote openly 
against their landlord. Having got into Parliament, 
Langston applied himself to strengthening his interest 
at Minehead, by buying land and building houses 
there. On the other hand, twenty-four of " the 
principal inhabitants " met at the Plume of Feathers 
in November, " to form some plan for recovering 
and effectually securing Mr. Luttrell's interest " and 
unanimously passed several resolutions. They recom- 
mended, for instance, that Mr. Luttrell should repair 
" the common houses " and erect temporary shambles 
for the butchers. Their third resolution was : — 

" That Mr. Luttrell be recommended to dispossess all 
such persons of their houses, grounds, etc. as were inimical 
to his interest at the last election. " 

They, moreover, bound themselves to give a prefer- 
ence in the employment of labourers to all such as 
had supported Mr. Luttrell at the recent election. 

A very circumstantial and withal fairly candid 
account of the Minehead election in 1802, was laid 
before Thomas Plumer, afterwards Master of the Rolls. 


From this we learn that John Langston, one of the 
sitting members, and James Woodbridge offered them- 
selves as candidates on Easter Day, the i8th of April, 
and that, tv\ro days later, John Fow^nes Luttrell began 
a canvass on behalf of himself and " his friend " un- 
specified. Entertainments were given by both parties. 

" Mr. Luttrell, the proprietor of every inn in the borough, 
opened them to the number of thirteen, in the usual manner 
upon such occasions. Billets were made out by his agents 
for a certain number of the voters in his interest to go to 
each of the several inns, where suppers were very frequently 
given, liquor was always ready to be distributed, and in short 
the most unlimited treating took place. Mr. Langston's 
and Mr. Woodbridge's voters were entertained as constantly, 
in a room fitted up for the purpose out of a barn, and in 
another room within the borough, and, except that Mr. 
Luttrell's entertainments were the most liberal as to the food 
and liquor provided, no distinction can be made between the 
treating on either side. " 

On the 1 6th of May, John Patteson came to stay 
at Dunster Castle, and on the morrow his host in- 
troduced him to the borough as the person whom he 
intended to support. According to an arrangement 
between them, Luttrell managed the campaign and 
paid all the expenses. Treating continued until the 
28th of June, when Luttrell and Patteson announced 
that it must cease, because Parliament was about to be 
dissolved. Their opponents, however, went on as 
before. At this juncture, Mr. Lethbridge, " a gentle- 
man of very large property and a particular friend of 
Mr. Luttrell," appeared on the scene and said that 
the public-houses must be kept open, he himself 
undertaking to pay all consequent expenses. This, we 
are told, he did " without the least view to remunera- 
tion" and "from pure regard to Mr. Luttrell's interest." 
Indeed, he was prepared to " state " that he had not 

266 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

" the least prospect or expectation of repayment, " 
although he had suffered no pecuniary loss through 
lending his name for a similar purpose at the previous 

After the issue of the writ, Langston and Wood- 
bridge became more liberal than before, while the 
supporters of Luttrell and Patteson were restricted to 
bread and cheese in a large room, the liquor at the 
inns being supplied by Lethbridge, without authority 
from them. At the last moment, two fresh candidates 
were put up against the Castle interest, in view of the 
possibility that the House of Commons might disallow 
the return of any of the others. The poll for this little 
borough was kept open no less than five days, the 
result being declared on the 5th of July, as follows: — 













This election seems to have aroused a good deal of 
ill feeling. On the one hand, Luttrell began proceed- 
ings against some of his neighbours for libel ; on the 
other hand, the defeated candidates presented a petition 
against the return. Luttrell had " not the least 
apprehension" that he could be unseated for bribery. 
" Upon his canvass, he uniformly rejected to receive 
the promise of any vote attended with any condition 
whatever." With regard to treating, his position 
was much weaker, and the returning officers, who 
were virtually his nominees, had refused the aid of an 
experienced assessor. In the case submitted to coun- 
sel by his agents, there is an ingenuous confession : — 


" How to state the conduct of the returning officers so as 
to show that they did not act illegally, partially, and corruptly, 
is felt from the nature of things to be very difficult. " 

As the other side had equally valid reasons for shunning 
a public enquiry, a compromise was eventually made, 
Luttrell undertaking to stop his prosecutions, and 
Langston and Woodbridge undertaking to drop their 
petition. Furthermore, in August 1803, Langston 
agreed to sell to Luttrell all his property in the borough 
of Minehead, consisting largely of houses built for the 
purpose of creating votes. Three arbitrators learned 
in the law fixed the price at 7,000/. Finally, William 
Davis of Alcombe, merchant, published an apology 
for having issued " a most false, scandalous, and malici- 
ous libel " on John Fownes Luttrell, esquire. 

The papers at Dunster Castle afford very little in- 
formation about the General Election of 1 806. Under 
date of the 22nd of October, there is a "rough list 
of inhabitants of Minehead likely to vote for Mr. Lut- 
trell and his friend." Then there is a " list of voters 
as they were billeted to the different houses in Mine- 
head for a supper and drink, the 24th October. " 
Lastly, there is a hst of seventy-two " gentlemen to 
be invited to dine at the Plume of Feathers Inn in 
Minehead, on Wednesday the 5 th day of November 
1806." The election had already been held on the 
ist of the month, when Sir John Lethbridge and 
Lord Rancliffe had been returned. Luttrell had with- 
drawn at the last moment, but it is practically certain 
that both the members were his nominees, Lethbridge 
resigned within a few weeks and John Fownes Luttrell 
was returned in his place on the 1 4th of January 1 807. 

Another dissolution of Parliament followed very 
shortly, the King desiring a House of Commons that 
would support the ministry formed by the Duke of 

268 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

Portland. On this occasion, a final attempt was made 
to overthrow the supremacy of the Castle interest in 
the borough of Minehead. The struggle was very- 
brief. On the 6th of May 1807, the Hon. Thomas 
Bowes issued a printed address " to the worthy and 
independent electors, " which did not contain the 
slightest reference to his political views ; he simply 
asked them to exercise their "freedom of suffrage, " 
and declared his desire to protect them " from the 
shackles and abuses of tyranny and corruption. " A 
song composed on his behalf similarly asks : — 

" Shall Britons bold be bought and sold 
Slave-like — mere traffic in a fair ? " 

The poll was opened on the 8th of May, and after 
seven o'clock in the evening " the Hon. Thomas 
Bowes sent a letter to Mr. William Leigh, informing 
him that he would not give Mr. Luttrell any further 
trouble. " Only thirty-four electors recorded their 
votes on the following day, and when the numbers 
were officially counted, the result was declared : — 

John Fownes Luttrell, 123, 
John Denison, 108, 

Hon. Thomas Bowes, 64. 

In 18 1 2, John Fownes Luttrell and his son, John 
Fownes Luttrell the younger, were elected " by ac- 
clamation and with the most cordial demonstrations 
of regard." The event was celebrated by a ball in 
November, to which about a hundred and fifty persons 
were invited, all belonging to the professional and 
commercial class. 

The administration of the Dunster estate by John 
Fownes Luttrell the elder was marked by several 
changes, all tending to a concentration of his interest. 
Between the years 1789 and 1793, he purchased from 




Lord Stawell the whole of the Stewkley inheritance 
at Dunster, comprising the rectorial tithes, the advow- 
son, and several burgages and fields at Marsh. In 
1796, he paid 8,000/. to Juliana, Lady Langham, 
daughter and eventual heiress of George Musgrave, 
for the impropriate rectory and the advowson of the 
adjoining parish of Carhampton, with a house and a 
few acres called Uphill at Rodhuish. Fifteen years 
later, he bought the manor of Sandhill in the parish 
of Carhampton from Hugh Escott. As a set-off 
against these purchases, he sold the outlying manor of 
Heathfield Durborough to John Perring of Combe 
Florey, in 1803, for the sum of 22,000/. 

At an earlier period of his life, John Fownes Lut- 
trell had taken considerable interest in horses, and 
there are at Dunster Castle silver cups won by him 
at Lichfield races in 1781 and at Totnes races eight 
years later. He married, on the 2nd of August 
1782, Mary daughter of Francis Drewe of Grange, 
in Devonshire, and by her had issue five sons and 
four daughters : — 
John, his heir. 

Henry, successor to his brother. 

Francis, born on the loth of February 1792, and 
baptized at Dunster. He matriculated at Christ 
Church, Oxford in 1 8 10, but left without a degree, 
accepting a commission in the Grenadier Guards in 
March 18 13, just in time to take part in the ex- 
pulsion of the French from Spain. He was stay- 
ing at Dunster Castle when the news arrived of 
Napoleon's escape from Elba, and he forthwith went 
up to London, whence he proceeded by Ramsgate, 
Ostend, and Ghent, to join his battalion at Enghien. 
At the battle of Waterloo, he was wounded in the 
hand. On the 2 1 st of February 1 8 24, he married, 

2/0 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

at Kensington, his cousin Louisa daughter of Samuel 
Drewe, and he sold his commission in April 1825. 
Settling at Kilve Court as a country gentleman, he 
became the first chairman of the Williton Board of 
Guardians and the first Master of the West Somerset 
Fox-hounds. In 1 8 39, he was appointed Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the Second Regiment of Somerset Militia. 
He died on the 4th of January 1862 and was buried 
at Dunster, where there is a stained glass window 
in memory of him. Mrs. Luttrell survived until 
1 88 1. They had issue nine children : — 
George, successor to his uncle, Henry Fownes 

Luttrell, of Dunster Castle. 
Edward, of Kilve Court, born in 1 83 1 and educated 

at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He died 

on the 3rd of July 1865. 
Arthur John, born in 1832, entered the Royal 

Navy and died at Penang in 1847. 
Francis, born in 1836 and educated at Eton and 

Oriel College, Oxford. He died in Natal in 

1 880. By Helena his wife, daughter of Stephanus 

Maritz of Natal, he left issue two daughters, 

Helena Louisa (Nina) and Margery. 
Reginald, born in 1839 and educated at Eton and 

Oriel College, Oxford. He died at Torquay 

in 1866. 
Augusta Margaret born in May 1825 and baptized 

at Kilve. She died in 1880. 
Charlotte, born in 1828 and died in 1842. 
Caroline, born in 1829 and burned to death at 

Kilve Court in 1856. 
Mary Anne, married in 1861 to Henry Anstey 

Bosanquet, barrister at law, afterwards of Clan- 

ville in Minehead. 
Alexander, rector of East Quantockshead. 




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Thomas, born on the iith of September 1794 and 
baptized at Dunster. Like his three elder brothers, 
he was educated at Eton, whence he proceeded to 
Exeter College, Oxford, in 18 14. Entering holy 
orders, he served the cure of Dunster from 1821 
until 1872, holding also the vicarage of Minehead 
for some years, and from 1832 onwards the vicarage 
of Carhampton. At the close of his life, he built 
the school at Dunster, and he died there in De- 
cember 1 87 1. 
Mary Anne, born on the 27th of July 1783, and 
baptized at Dunster. She was buried there in 
May 1835. 
Margaret, born on the 8th of October 1784 and 
baptized at Dunster. She was buried there in 
June 1858. 
Charlotte, born on the 23rd of March 1786 and 
baptized at Dunster. She was buried there in 
March 1791. 
Harriet, born on the 21st of October 1788 and 
baptized at Dunster. She was buried there in 
April 1870. 
John Fownes Luttrell died in February 1 8 1 6 and was 
buried at Dunster. His relict survived until March 
1829. There is a good portrait of him by Opie, for 
which he paid only four guineas in 1782, the artist 
being then young and almost unknown. ' There is 
also a miniature of him set in diamonds. 

A charming pair of oval drawings by John Down- 
man, dated 1781, represents two Misses Drewe, Mary 
afterwards the wife of John Fownes Luttrell, and 
Charlotte afterwards the wife of his brother Francis 
Fownes Luttrell. 

' In Rogers's Opic and his works the possession of a Mr. J. S. Townsend, 
(p. 122), this picture is stated to be in who cannot be identifted. 

2/2 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

John Fownes Luttrell the second was born on 
the 26th of August 1787 and baptized at Dunster. 
He was educated at Eton and at Oriel College, Oxford, 
where he took the degree of M.A. Succeeding to 
the family estate in 18 16, he soon increased it by 
purchasing the manor of Eastbury and Briddicot Farm, 
both situate in Carhampton and formerly the property 
of the Perceval family. 

It has been seen above that this John Fownes 
Luttrell was returned as one of the members for 
Minehead during the lifetime of his father. He 
was duly re-elected without opposition in 1 8 1 8 and 
after four subsequent dissolutions of Parliament, and 
on each occasion he nominated his own colleague. 
In the Reform Bill, Minehead, with an electorate 
of only two hundred and fifteen voters, mostly his 
tenants, was scheduled for disfranchisement. The 
proposal of course aroused his keen opposition. He 
and his agent prepared an elaborate case on behalf 
of the threatened constituency, giving such facts 
and statistics as appeared favourable to it, and some 
adroit references to the historic importance of Dun- 
ster. By way of showing that Minehead was not 
a mere pocket-borough of the Luttrells, the case 
states that there had been two contested elections 
there within the previous thirty years, though it 
prudently refrains from giving the dates of them. 
In proposing moreover that the parishes of Car- 
hampton, Withycombe, Wootton Courtenay and 
Timberscombe should be included in the parlia- 
mentary borough, it does not mention that the 
Luttrell influence was predominant in at least two 
of them. Lord John Russell and his followers were 
not to be moved by such devices, and, in 1832, 
Minehead lost the right of sending up represent- 


atives to Westminster. After its disfranchisement, 
John Fownes Luttrell stood for the western division 
of the county in the Tory interest, but he was not 
successful. ^ He died unmarried and was buried at 
Dunster on the 21st of January 1857. 

Henry Fownes Luttrell, second son of the first 
John Fownes Luttrell, was born on the 7th of Febru- 
ary 1790 and baptized at Dunster. He was educated 
at Eton and at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he 
proceeded B. A. On the death of his father in 1 8 1 6, 
he was elected to succeed him as one of the Members 
for Minehead, and he was re-elected in 1 8 1 8 and 
again in 1820, but he resigned his seat in 1822, in 
order to become one of the Commissioners for audit- 
ing the Public Accounts. Many years of his life 
were spent in London, as he held office until 1 849. 
He succeeded his brother John at Dunster in 1857, 
but died unmarried in October 1867. 

George Fownes Luttrell, eldest son of Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Francis Fownes Luttrell, was born at 
Kilve on the 27th of September 1826. He was 
educated at Eton, where he succeeded his cousin 
H.A. Fownes Luttrell as Captain of the Boats. He 
afterwards went to Christ Church, Oxford, and pro- 
ceeded B.A. On the death of his father, he became 
Master of the West Somerset Fox-hounds, which he 
kept as a private pack for some years after his success- 
ion to his uncle, Henry Fownes Luttrell, in 1867. 

In 1 873, the Dunster estate comprised 15,374 acres, 
with a gross rental of 22,000/. ' Viscount Portman, 
Sir J. H. Greville Smyth, and Sir Thomas Dyke Acland 

' Some doggrel lines on ' Luttrell the history of the borough, 
standing against Sanford ' quoted in * Bateman'sGrert/L(im/i7:rHfrs,(i883) 

Hancock's Miuehcad, p. 361, refer to p. 284. 
this election, and are unconnected with 

274 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. viii. 

were the only persons with a larger or more valuable 
property in Somerset. In addition to this, Mr. Lut- 
trell was entered in 1873 as owning 1852 acres in 
Devonshire, the inheritance of the Fownes family, 
most of which he sold in the following year. The 
estate in Somerset had been materially enlarged in 
1870, by the purchase of the manor of Old Cleeve, 
including the very interesting and beautiful remains 
of the Abbey of St. Mary in the Flowery Vale, those 
of the dependent Chapel of St. Mary a little to the 
north, and the Jacobean house called Binham. None 
who can remember the time when the cloisters of 
Cleeve Abbey served as pigstyes, can fail to appreciate 
the care that has been bestowed upon the monastic 
buildings during the last thirty years and more. In 
1870, Avill was acquired from Sir Thomas Dyke 
Acland, in exchange for land between Minehead and 
Selworthy. Twenty-one years later, Aller in Car- 
hampton, formerly the residence of the Everards, was 
added to the Luttrell estate. An interesting comparison 
might be drawn between the position of the medieval 
lords of Dunster, owning a number of isolated manors 
in different counties and that of their present repre- 
sentative, owning a large but more compact estate in 
the immediate neighbourhood of his own residence. 

The important alterations made by Mr. Luttrell in 
the Castle and the Church at Dunster will be des- 
cribed in future chapters. Those made by him at 
Minehead, at East Quantockshead and elsewhere 
hardly come within the scope of the present volume. 

A notable event in the local annals was the then 
Prince of Wales's visit to Dunster in August 1879, 
when he stayed two nights at the Castle, and went to 
a meet of the Devon and Somerset Stag-hounds at 
Hawkcombe Head. 


Mr. Luttrell married, in August 1852, Anne Eliza- 
beth Periam, daughter of Sir Alexander Hood, baronet, 
and has issue : — 

Alexander, born on the ist of June 1855 and educated 
at Eton. After serving for about a year in the 
Rifle Brigade, he received a commission in the 
Grenadier Guards in 1 876. He was in the Soudan 
campaign at Suakim in 1885 and became Captain. 
He married, in April 1886, Alice Edwina daughter 
of Colonel Munro Ferguson of Raith and Novar 
in Scotland, and has issue two sons : — 

Geoffrey, born on the 20th of May 1887. 
Ralph Paganel, born on the 26th of May 1889. 
Hugh Courtenay, born on the loth of February 1857 
and educated at Cheltenham. He served for some 
time in the Rifle Brigade and was Aide-de-Camp 
successively to Earls Cowper and Spencer when 
Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He has been Mem- 
ber for the Tavistock division of Devonshire from 
1892 to 1900 and from 1906 to the present time. 
He married in February 1904, Dorothy Hope, 
daughter of Sir William Wedderburn, baronet, and 
has issue three daughters, Mary, Louisa and Eliza- 
Edward, born on the 24th of September 1858 and 

educated at Eton. 
Claude Mohun, born on the 9th of September 1867, 
and educated at Eton and Magdalen College, 


The Borough and the Manor of Dunster. 

The earliest historical mention of Dunster is to be 
found in the survey of the lands of William de Mohun 
made in 1086. In the Exeter Domesday we read: — 

" William has a manor which is called Torra, which Alvric 
held on the day on which King Edward was living and dead; 
and he paid geld for half a hide. One plough can till it. 
There William has his castle, and fifteen bordars, and two 
mills which pay ten shillings, and five acres of meadow and 
thirty acres of pasture. It is worth fifteen shillings and [it 
was worth] five shillings when he obtained it. " 

In considering this brief record, it is necessary to 
bear in mind that the manor of Torre thus described 
w^as not co-extensive vv^ith the parish of Dunster. 
Avill, Alcombe and Staunton, alike belonging to 
William de Mohun in 1086 and alvs^ays included in 
the parish, w^ere separate manors. Each of them 
contained more arable land than Torre. On the 
basis of hidage, Alcombe and Staunton were more 
important than Torre, and Avill v^as equal to it. In 
actual value, Alcombe was worth more than Torre, 
and Avill and Staunton were worth less only because 
of the very great improvement of Torre during the 
two decades between the Norman invasion and the 
compilation of Domesday Book. 


There is nothing in the quotation given above to 
show that the inhabitants of Dunster differed from 
those of the agricultural villages in the neighbourhood. 
In the course of the twelfth century, however, a little 
town grew up under the shadow of the mighty castle 
of the Mohuns. There is mention of toll levied there 
in 1 177, and twenty years later Dunster is described as 
a borough which yielded 20/. a year to its lord. ^ 

When an attempt was made in 1222 to establish a 
market at Watchet, the government of Henry the 
Third caused it to be suppressed without delay, on 
the score that it would be injurious to the market of 
Dunster, the lord of that place being then a ward of 
the Crown. ^ 

The following is a translation of the earliest charter 
relating to this market, under the seal of Reynold de 
Mohun the second : — 

" Know all men present and future that I, Reynold de 
Moyhun, have given, granted and by this my present charter 
confirmed to Hugh Rondevin and Robert Luci and Robert 
the Hunter {yenatori) and Roger Pryer and Robert Chipera 
and Simon Coc, my burgesses of Dunster, and their heirs, 
the right of having and for ever possessing of me and my 
heirs a market and fair in the same in North Street (in eodem 
vico del Nord)y freely and quietly and wholly, and without 
removal and impediment of me and my heirs. 

" On account of this gift and grant to be held of me and 
my heirs by them and their heirs for ever, the aforesaid 
burgesses have given to me a tun of wine of the price of 
forty shillings as an acknowledgement. 

" In assurance of this, I have affixed my seal to this writ- 
ing ; these being witnesses : — Sir John de Regni, Roges son 
of Simon, William Everadd, Richard of Holne, Roger 
Pollard, Robert of Cogstane, Geoffrey of Kytenor, Geoffrey 
of Lucumbe, and others. " * 

1 Pipe Rolls. * D.C.M. VIII. I ; Gcntlevtan's Maga- 

» Rotuli Litt. Clausarum, vol. i. p. 527. zitie, vol. Ixxviii. p. 874. 

278 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

The following charter can be definitely assigned to 
the period between 1254 and 1258 : — 

" To all the faithful of Christ to whom the present writing 
shall come, Reynold de Moyun, greeting. Know ye all that 
I have granted, released, and quit-claimed for ever for me 
and my heirs and all others who after me shall in any way 
be lords, or guardians, or bailiffs of Dunesterre, that the 
burgesses of that town or their heirs shall in no wise here- 
after be made reeves, or farmers of the sea-port or of the toll 
of the borough or of the mills of the same town, against 
their will. 

" I have also granted to the same burgesses and their 
heirs that they shall be quit of yearly tallage, so that no 
tallage according to the custom of other boroughs of England 
shall be exacted from them save for reasonable and due 

" I will moreover and grant for me and my heirs and all 
who shall be lords, or bailiffs, or guardians of Dunesterre, 
that the said burgesses and their heirs shall have common 
on Crowedon without any claim or impediment, as good for 
their use as they were wont to have in the time of any of 
[my] predecessors. 

" And that buyers or sellers in the market of Dunesterre 
shall be quit of toll, unless their buying or selling exceed 
twelve pence. Likewise fishermen and cornmongers shall 
be quit of toll in the said market for ever. 

" I will moreover, granting for me and my heirs, lords, 
guardians and bailiffs of Dunesterre, that hereafter we shall 
not be able to make prise (captionem) from the brew of any 
one in the same town beyond twenty-four gallons, that is to 
say four gallons for a penny. If, however, we shall wish 
to have more ale from that brew, it shall be bought at the 
rate at which buyers of the country (patrie) buy of the 
same. And that nobody hereafter shall make in the town 
of Dunesterre that ale which is called Reeve's Ale (Cervisia 
Prepositi). If, however, it shall have been made, the brewers 
(pandoxatores) of the same town shall not for that reason 
cease from brewing and making ale and selling as they ought 
if that ale had not been brewed. 

" And that if [the burgesses] shall fall into mercy for any 


offence, they shall be quit for six pence, except for laying 
hands upon the lord, or the lady, or any of the household of 
the Castle. 

" And that after the buyings of the lord at the sea-port 
or in the aforesaid market have been made, [the burgesses] 
shall forthwith be able to buy whatever they may wish to 
buy without objection (querela) or hindrance, and that others 
of the country (de patria) shall not be able to do their buying 
before them. 

" And if they shall find a rabbit hurtful to them, they 
shall kill it and bring the skin to the Castle, and so be quit 

" And also that they shall openly use the same customs 
at the Hundred [court] and elsewhere as they were wont to 
use in the time of any of my predecessors. 

" All these things I have granted to the said burgesses 
and their heirs for ever, for the soul of John de Moyun, my 
firstborn son, of happy memory, and for twenty marks which 
the same burgesses have given to me. 

" Wherefore I will and grant for me and my heirs the 
lords, guardians and bailiffs of Dunesterre, that this my 
grant, release, and quit-claim shall remain valid and unshaken 
for ever. And lest I Reynold, or my heirs or any other 
lord, guardian, or bailiff of Dunesterre, shall be able to contra- 
vene this in any respect, for the greater assurance hereof, 
I have affixed my seal to the present writing. These being 
witnesses : — Sir Simon de Ralegh, Sir Roges of Porlok, 
Sir John Bretasch, Sir William le Bret, Philip of Lucumb, 
Richard Aylerd, Richard of Cloudesham, Hugh of Avele, 
Richard of Linc[oln], and many others. " ^ 

The foregoing has been described as one of the 
large group of charters characterised by a limitation 
of the lord's ' mercy, ' or powder of amercement, the 
exception here being the case of an assault on an in- 
habitant of the Castle. ^ 

One of the sections suggests that the rabbits on 
Conigar Hill had so multiplied as to become a nui- 

» D.C.M. VIII. I. pp. 92-110. 

' English Historical Review, vol. xvi, 

28o A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

sance to the townsmen. By 1266, they had been 
exterminated and Conigar had become ordinary pasture 
in demesne. The rabbit-warren of the lords of Dunster 
in subsequent centuries was on flat ground near the 
sea, a little to the east of Minehead. The ' custom ' 
of Dunster with regard to the Hundred Court seems 
to have consisted in ignoring it altogether. 

The following charter belongs to the period between 
1269 and 1279 : — 

" To all the faithful of Christ to whom the present writing 
shall come, John de Moyun, greeting in the Lord. Know 
ye all that I have granted, confirmed and quit-claimed for 
ever, for me and my heirs, to all the burgesses of my town 
of Donestorre and their heirs all the liberties of the same 
town which Sir Reynold de Moyun, my grandfather, at any 
time gave and granted by his charter to the said burgesses 
and their heirs, as that charter witnesses in all points, without 
any claim to be made thence hereafter. 

" 1 have also granted to the said burgesses and their heirs 
[the right] to find yearly a suitable and faithful bailiff, to 
receive, present, and faithfully answer for all attachments 
made within the borough. And if the same bailiff for the 
time being shall in any way misbehave against the lord or 
the said burgesses or their heirs, he the same bailiff shall 
make amend to his lord, according to the custom of the 
borough; and in his place the said burgesses shall put another 
bailiff suitable for the lord's work. 

" For this grant, confirmation and quit-claim the said 
burgesses have given to me twenty shillings in hand. In 
witness wherof I have affiixed my seal to the present writing. 
These being witnesses : — Sir John de Brytasch, knight, 
Philip of Luccomb, Richard of Cloudesham, John of Holne, 
Geoffrey of Kytenare, Geoffrey le Tort, William Everard, 
William Pyrou, Robert de la Putte, and others. " ^ 

With regard to the foregoing it is only necessary 
to observe that in most manors the bailiff, or bedel, 

' D.C.M. VIII. I ; Gentleman's Magazine, vol. Ixxviii. p. 874. 


" was an outsider appointed by the lord " to look 
after his interests. ^ 

The next charter to the burgesses bears a specific 
date : — 

" To all the faithful of Christ who shall see or hear the 
present writing, John de Moyun the Third, lord of Duns- 
terre, greeting in the Lord. Know ye all that I have granted 
and confirmed for ever for me and my heirs to all the 
burgesses of my town of Dunsterre and their heirs all the 
liberties of the same town which Sir Reynold de Moyun, 
my great-grandfather, gave and granted by his charter to the 
same burgesses and their heirs. 

" I have also granted to the same burgesses and their 
heirs the estate {statum) and liberty which they had by a 
certain writing made to the same burgesses by Sir John de 
Moyun, my father. 

" I have furthermore granted to the same burgesses and 
their heirs for ever, on account of the love which 1 bear to 
the said burgesses, that they shall have furze (^jaones)^ 
whorts {rnoritas)^ turves {turbas\ fern {fugeras) and heath 
{hrueras)^ sufficient for their fuel on my hill of Croudon, 
for ever. 

" Provided that by reason of this grant nobody sojourning 
within the borough of Dunsterre shall in any wise have or 
hold the aforesaid liberties or grants except the burgesses 
and their heirs or those who hold a whole burgage in the 
same borough. 

" And that this my grant and confirmation may remain 
approved and valid for ever, I have affixed my seal to the 
present writing. These being witnesses : — Sir Andrew 
Loterel, knight, William Osberne then constable of Duns- 
terre, Gilbert de la Putte, Roger Arundel, Ralph Fitzurse, 
Robert of Bratton, and Ralph le Tort. Dated at Dunsterre 
on Thursday before the feast of the Annunciation of Our 
Lady in the twenty-ninth year of the reign of King Edward." 
[a.d. 1301.]' 

In I 571, Croydon common was stated to contain 

' Vinogradoff's Villainage in Eng- ' D.C.M. viii. i. 

land, p. 318. 

282 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

about two thousand acres " very commodious " to the 
town of Dunster " for the necessary fuell, heath and 
turfe growinge " there. ^ 

The same John de Mohun issued a further charter 
a few years after that given above : — 

" To all the faithful of Christ who shall see or hear the 
present writing, John de Mohun, lord of Dunsterre, greet- 
ing in the Lord. Know ye all that I have granted and 
confirmed for ever for me and my heirs to all my burgesses 
of my town of Dunsterre and their heirs and all who hold 
a whole burgage that they shall freely dig and at their 
pleasure carry away slime {slymam) for improving their lands, 
in the whole of my marsh between the road that leads to 
the sea-port of Dunsterre and the marsh of Richard of 
Avele ; and that they shall have common of pasture with all 
their plough-cattle {averiis) at every time of the year, except 
in my several marsh which is called Estmersh, [so] that they 
shall neither dig there and carry away, nor have common 
there with their plough cattle. Provided that by reason of 
this grant nobody sojourning within the borough of Duns- 
terre shall in any wise have or hold the aforesaid liberties or 
grants except the burgesses and their heirs or those who 
hold a whole burgage in the same borough. 

" And that this my gift, grant and confirmation may 
remain approved and valid for ever, I have affixed my seal 
to the present writing. These being witnesses : — Sir 
Henry of Glastonbury, knight, William Osbern, steward, 
Geoffrey of Loccombe, Gilbert de la Putte, Roger Arundel, 
Robert of Bratton, Ralph le Tort, and others. Dated at 
Dunsterre on Friday next after the feast of St. James the 
Apostle in the thirty-fifth year of King Edward. " ^ 

There is some error in the date of this charter, for 
Edward the First died on the 7th of July 1307, and 
the feast of St. James was on the 25th of the month. 
The validity of the grant seems to have been question- 

^ Chancery Proceedings, Series H, ter, formerly preserved in a chest in 
bundle 117, no. 59. Dunster Church, is now at the Castle. 

» D.C.M. viii. I. The original char- 


ed by George Luttrell in the reign of Elizabeth, on 
the ground that the burgesses of Dunster were not a 
corporation. It may be useful to note here that the 
East Marsh reserved as above then comprised about 
forty acres used as a rabbit-warren and commonly 
known by the name of ' Coleborrowes. ' 

The following charter was issued by the same John 
de Mohun in 1324 : — 

" To all the faithful of Christ who shall see or hear the 
present writing, John de Mohun, lord of Dunsterre, greeting 
in the Lord. Know ye all that I have given and granted 
for me and my heirs and all others lords, guardians, [or] 
bailiffs of Dunsterre to all the burgesses of my town of 
Dunster continuing for ever twenty gallons of ale out of the 
twenty-four gallons of ale formerly due to me from every 
brew. I will also and grant for me and my heirs and all 
lords, guardians and bailiffs whomsoever, that hereafter we 
shall not be able to make or have prise (capcionem) of the 
brew of anyone in the same town, except four gallons of ale 
from a brew as I had them and was wont from the past 
term, and those of the ale which the bailiff found on sale on 
the day of search. 

" And I, the aforesaid John de Mohun, and my heirs 
will warrant, acquit and defend for ever to the aforesaid bur- 
gesses and their heirs and all who continue in the aforesaid 
town the aforesaid twenty gallons of ale against all mortals. 
In testimony whereof I have affixed my seal to this present 
writing. These being witnesses : — Sir Henry of Glaston- 
bury, knight, Ralph le Tort, Geoffrey of Loccumbe, William 
of Kytenore, William of Holne, Robert Everard, Geoffrey 
of Avele, and others. Dated at Dunsterre on Sunday after 
the feast of the Purification of Our Lady in the seventeenth 
year of the reign of King Edward, the son of King Edward." 
[a.d. 1324.]^ 

There must have been a good deal of brewing at 
Dunster at this period, for, some six years after the 
date of the foregoing charter, the lord's prise of ale 

» D.C.M. vin. I. 

284 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

in the town was valued at 2/. i 3^. 4^. a year. ^ The 
subject will be mentioned again in connexion with 
the courts of the borough. Camden, Gerard and 
Fuller agree in stating that the last Lady de Mohun 
of Dunster obtained from her husband as much ground 
as common for the inhabitants of the town as she 
could walk round barefoot in one day. The story, 
which reminds one partly of Dido and partly of Lady 
Godiva, might be dismissed as fabulous were it not 
for the fact that these three writers had access to a 
chronicle of the Mohun family composed in the life- 
time of this lady and actually dedicated to her. ^ It 
is, however, necessary to observe that there is no record 
of any charter to the burgesses of Dunster granted by 
her husband. 

In 1346, the town of Dunster was called upon to 
provide three armed men to serve in the wars of 
Edward the Third. ^ Four years later, only one such 
man was demanded.* In 1360, for the first and last 
time, Dunster sent up two members to Parliament, in 
the persons of Walter Morys and Thomas Carter. ^ 
The little borough never had a mayor or an alderman. 
On the other hand it was considered competent to 
receive land and otherwise to act in a corporate ca- 
pacity. ® Such property as vested in it was apparently 
held under an implied trust for the churchwardens, 
or for one of the chantries. ^ In 1355, and again in 
1498, there are specific mentions of the common seal 
of the commonalty of the town of Dunster, every 
vestige of which has long since disappeared. ^ 

* Inq. post mortem, C. Edw. HI. vol. i. p. 164. 

file 22 (11). ^ Inq. ad quod damnum, file 344,00. 

* Devon Notes and Queries, vol. iv. 6 ; D.C.B. nos. 12, 19, 43, 46. 

p. 252. ' D.C.B. no. 48. Bishop King's Re- 

^ Rymer's Foedera, vol. iii. p. 71. gister at Wells, f. 45. 

* Ibid. p. 194. 8 D.C.B. no. 41. 

* Return 0/ Members of Parliament, 












O s 


From some of the charters given above, it appears 
that nobody was accounted a burgess of Dunster who 
did not hold a whole burgage. The ground on either 
side of the different streets had, at an early period, 
been cut up into narrow strips, each affording space 
for a house with a yard or a garden behind. The 
tenements on the eastern side of the High Street were 
separated from the Hanger Park by a continuous 
paling or wall ; those opposite were similarly separated 
from the Priory Green. In some parts of the town, 
the arrangement was not quite so symmetrical. Each 
strip of normal size was known as a burgage and was 
held of the lord by the free tenure of that name. As 
in several other ancient boroughs, the rent was usually 
a shilling a year for each burgage, a substantial amount 
not far below the actual value of the premises when 
first acquired. 

Subject to this and some other obligations to be 
mentioned hereafter, the burgess could deal with his 
holding as he chose, and he could even bequeath it 
by will, at a time when testamentary powers over land 
were very restricted. The lord therefore never got 
an escheat unless a bastard tenant died intestate. All 
the burgesses were, as such, essentially free men, 
though of course they might also be tenants of agri- 
cultural land in the manor liable to the ordinary con- 
ditions of villein service. 

While all the burgages were, as the name implies, 
situate within the borough, they were not necessarily 
single houses inhabited by burgesses. A barn, or even 
a void plot of ground, might be accounted a burgage. 
There is occasional mention of half-burgages. On 
the other hand there might be two dwellings on one 
burgage. By the seventeenth century, however, the 
medieval meaning of a ' burgage ' as a piece of ground 

286 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

held by burgage tenure, had been largely forgotten, 
and the term had come to be regarded more or less as 
an equivalent to * messuage ' or * tenement, ' and to 
be applied to houses not held " according to the custom 
of the borough. 

We may fairly suppose that, as originally allotted, 
each burgage had a separate owner, who was also the 
occupier. The unrestricted power of alienation, how- 
ever, tended to reduce the number of burgesses, or, in 
other words, to concentrate the burgages in a limited 
number of hands. A prosperous tradesman might 
acquire a burgage next to his own, in order to enlarge 
his premises. So again, anyone wanting an invest- 
ment for surplus money might buy a burgage, in order 
to let it, at a time when the yearly value had come 
to be much greater than the fixed rent payable to the 
lord. At Dunster, this rent seems to have been always 
due from the owner, the lord ignoring the mere oc- 
cupier. If it was not paid, the lord apparently had 
no easy remedy except distress upon any goods to be 
found on the premises. ^ 

In the course of the later middle ages, several burg- 
ages in Dunster were acquired by the Abbot and 
Convent of Cleeve, the Prior of Dunster, and the 
local gilds of St. Lawrence and the Holy Trinity. 
All these fell into the hands of the Crown at the dis- 
solution of the monasteries and the subsequent sup- 
pression of chantries, but subject to the rents payable 
to Sir Andrew or Sir John Luttrell. 

An 'extent' of the year 1266 shows that the total 
number of burgages in Dunster was then 176J. 
Twelve of the burgages in different parts of the town 
belonged to the Benedictine Prior. Robert of Gal- 
lockswell had seven, all apparently situate near the 

' D.C.M. I. 27; IX. 2. 


place of that name beyond the river. The surnames 
of many of the other burgesses indicate their respective 
vocations : — ' Mazun, ' Smith, Carpenter, ' Poter, ' 
Baker, ' Cok, ' Webber, Fuller, ' Corour, ' ' Tannere, ' 
' Glovere, ' ' Chepman, ' Miller, ' Gardiner, ' Fisher, 
Hunter (venatorj^ Wake (vigil)^ Clerk and Chaplain. 
Others took their names from the places at which 
they dwelt, the Marsh, the Bridge, the Bar, the Corner, 
the Well, and the Churchyard. Roger Wyschard 
may be mentioned as a representative of the Norman 
element in the population, and John Portman of the 
English. Among the more curious names in the list 
are those of William le Nywecomesone, Maud le 
Dublesterre, Nicholas Bukkehorn, Alice Stoukedostre, 
and Joan Cockeslop. A few of the burgesses had 
only one name recorded, such as Stou, Wyncestre, 
Cheffynge, Hunygod, Couleman and Scherpe, but it 
is not necessary to suppose that they had received 
them at their baptism. ^ 

The court-roll of 1381 records the admission of 
some new burgesses, at the usual rent of a shilling, 
but they obtained only estates for life. ^ If a burgage 
came into the lord's hands by escheat, by purchase, 
or by surrender, he could deal with it more or less as 
he pleased, imposing upon a new tenant conditions to 
which the representatives of the original burgesses 
were not subject. Thus the following entry occurs in 
the court-roll of the borough for the year 141 3 : — 

" To this court comes Thomas Touker the younger and 
he gives to the lord ild. as a fine for having estate and entry 
in a burgage lying on the south side of Grobbefast-pathe, 
which William Jone lately held, to hold according to the 
custom of the manor, rendering therefor and doing the same 
rents and services as the aforesaid William was wont to 

» D.C.M. vui. 4. * D.C.M. IX. 5. 

288 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

render and do. And he will build a new house of one 
couple (copuV) and two Mnschydes' upon the said burgage 
within two years, according to agreement. And he was 
admitted tenant and did fealty. " ^ 

In all such cases, the payment made for entry is 
described as a ' fine. ' New tenants were from time 
to time admitted in open court in the fifteenth century, 
to hold " according to the custom of the borough. " 
They may perhaps be regarded as copyholders, and 
there is specific mention of a conveyance by Sir 
Andrew Luttrell, in 1 5 37, of " a tenement or burgage 
in Dunster " to be held for lives " by copy of the 
roll. " ^ On the other hand the successors of the 
original burgesses did not hold ' by copy of court 
roll. ' Their tenure is often described in the rolls as 
' socage, ' of which indeed it was only a variety. 
A widow at Dunster could claim the ' capital mes- 
suage ', or principal house, of her deceased husband, 
to hold ' in free bench ' until her remarriage or death. ^ 

There is unfortunately no written custumal defining 
the exact relation of the free burgesses of Dunster to 
their lord. It is, however, abundantly clear that he 
was entitled to a small pecuniary sum upon every 
transfer of a burgage, at any rate in all cases when 
the new owner was not already a burgess. In 1381, 
this payment is described as ' toll ' (toln)^ but in the 
following century it is usually styled ' boroughright ', 
spelt in various ways. ^ The writers of the court-rolls 
seem to have been rather confused as to the meaning 
of the term, and, in 1532, we find it applied to the 
tenure, instead of the custom or the payment. ^ 

A great number of instances might be cited to show 
that the lord received 4^. from every burgage con- 

• D.C.M. XI. 2. See Bracton. 

2 D.C.M. XIV. 9. * D.C.M. IX. 5; X. 2. 3; xi. 2; xii. 1-4. 

* Placita de Banco, 348. m. 320. * D.C.M. xiii. 3. 


veyed by one living person to another. The following 
will, however, suffice : — 

1426, April 22. " Burghryght, 14^. Fealty. To this 
[court] comes John Orchard the younger arid gives to the 
lord of * burghryght ' for three burgages and a half which he 
acquired of John Frank, clerk, to him and Alice his wife and 
heirs lawfully begotten between them ; and he did fealty to 
the lord for the same. " ^ 

The charge on an estate for life was the same as 
that on an estate in perpetuity. In cases of transfer 
to several persons jointly, such as feoffees, the lord 
sometimes exacted /\.d. from each of the new tenants, 
but the practice in this respect seems to have been 
variable. The lord also got 4^. from every burgage 
on the death of the owner. 

1432, December 22. " To this [court] come John Blounde- 
helfe and Joan his wife, daughter and heiress of John 
Duke of Dunsterre, deceased, and claim to hold of the lord 
three burgages within the borough there, to hold to the 
same John and Joan, their heirs and assigns for ever, whence 
there accrues to the lord of a certain custom of the said 
borough for the aforesaid three burgages a certain render 
called ' burghryght, ' that is to say ^d. from every burgage, 
lid. And so the same John and Joan were admitted 
tenants, and did fealty. " * 

1462, October 24. " On this day came George Stukeley, 
son and heir of Richard Stukeley, and did fealty to the 
lord for a burgage in Dunster late of the said Richard and 
paid * burghryght, ' that is to say ^d. " ' 

Nevertheless, the steward was sometimes content 
to accept 4f.d. from persons inheriting " divers burg- 
ages " when the number was not exactly specified. 

In 1503, and several subsequent years, the payment 
made by every new burgess on admission is described 
in the rolls as ' relief, ' a term borrowed from the 

> D.C.M. XII. I. ' D.C.M. XII. 4. 

» D.C.M. XII. 2. 

290 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

feudal vocabulary. ^ So long as the ancient custom 
of the borough was maintained, one name was as 
good as another. In the reign of Henry the Eighth, 
however, a new system of assessment was established, 
the amount of ' relief ' being fixed at two years ' rent. 
At a court held on the 6th of October 1522, it was 
found that no less than five of the free burgesses had 
recently died — John Wylkyns who paid 2s. yearly. 
Sir John Trevelyan who paid y. 6d., Thomas Stoway 
who paid ij-., John Lewes who paid is. 6^. and John 
Ellisworth who paid 31. 4^. In each of these cases 
the relief due to the lord was set down at double the 
amount of the rent. ^ How the change was intro- 
duced the rolls do not show. The lord must assur- 
edly have surrendered some ancient right or due when 
the fee on admission to a freehold burgage of normal 
value was thus suddenly raised from 4^. to 2s. 

A fresh oath of fealty seems to have been required 
from every burgess of Dunster on the accession of a 
new lord. 

For some time after the reign of Henry the Eighth, 
the rolls of the borough court are so irregular that it 
is impossible to say when the oath of fealty and the 
payment of 'boroughright', or ' relief, on succession 
ceased to be exacted. The following entry occurs 
among the proceedings of a court leet and court baron 
held on the i8th of October 1735 : — 

" We present a releifFe due to the lord of this burrough 
upon the death of Mr. Giles Poyntz leatly deceased, who 
died seized of land or burgeges within this burrough, upon 
whose death, by the information of Mr. Thomas Prowse, 
steward of this court, there was due two pounds, four shil- 
lings, and fourpence due to the lord of the said burrough 
for such said releiife, which [is] not yet paid. " 

1 D.C.M. XIII. I. 2 D.C.M. XIII. 3. 


The amount thus claimed was exactly double the 
yearly rent due from Poyntz for various burgages. 

The amount of rent paid yearly at Martinmas by 
the burgesses of Dunster seems to have fluctuated 
slightly in the middle ages. The total was 9/. 3^. ^d. 
in 1259 and 1267. At the beginning of the reign 
of Edward the Fourth, it should have been 8/. 7J. 5^. 
but, perhaps in consequence of political troubles, many 
of the burgages were unoccupied and i/. 6j-. \od. 
could not be collected. ^ It was 8/. 9^. \d. in the 
reign of Henry the Eighth, but it afterwards declined 
steadily, possibly through a decrease in the urban 
population, possibly through purchases made by suc- 
cessive owners of the Castle. ^ In 1648, there is a 
list of " Heigh rents payable yearlie at Saint Martin's 
daie, " amounting to only 5/. 1 2s. 5^. Out of this 
the Crown was liable for i/. 6j-. in respect of burgages 
that had belonged to Cleeve Abbey and to chantries 
suppressed in the reign of Edward the Sixth, and 
Giles Poyntz of Lower Marsh was liable for i /. 2s. 2d. ' 
By 1746, the burgage rents had fallen further to 
4/. 3 J. 10^., of which i/. 2i. 2d. was due from John 
Poyntz, and i6j'. 8^/. from the heirs of Sir Hugh 
Stewkley. The date of payment had also been altered 
from Martinmas to Michaelmas. * 

In course of time, the burgage rents came to be 
regarded merely as payments for the right of depas- 
turing nine ewes and a ram in the Salt Marsh. '" A 
few persons more closely connected with the manor 
of Carhampton were occasionally admitted to similar 
rights on payment of a shilling a year. "^ 

Between the years 1760 and 1772, Henry Fownes 

' D.C.M. I. 27. * Survey by John St. Albyn. D.C.M. 

* Bailiffs' accounts and Inq. post ^ S^vai^e's Hundred of dirhampton, 

mortem, passim. p. 37^- 

» D.C.M. III. 12. " D.C.M. III. 12. 

292 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

Luttrell bought up the rights pertaining to fifty-four 
burgages out of a total of eighty-five ; and his son's 
purchase of the whole Stewkley estate in Dunster, 
about 1790, made a further considerable reduction in 
the number. As late as 18 19, there were a few out- 
standing rights of pasture in the Salt Marsh, but it 
had been altogether forgotten that the payments of a 
shilling a year represented an ancient rent for property 
in the town to which the lord had a reversionary 
right in certain contingencies. The Salt Marsh was 
finally divided by the Inclosure Commissioners in 1 865. 

It has been seen above that, in the later part of the 
thirteenth century. Sir John de Mohun had made 
over to the burgesses of Dunster the right of electing 
the bailiff of the borough. In course of time, how- 
ever, they ceased to act together as a corporation, 
and the right reverted to the lord. 

In 1 62 1, Robert Poore paid 12/. for the bailiwick 
of the borough, including the benefit of the outstand- 
ings, the weighing of yarn and wool and all other 
merchandise brought to the Town-hall to be weighed, 
the benefit of the two fairs on " Whitesun Mundaie 
and Good Frydaie, " and " a certaine rent paid yerly 
by the tanners betweene Martyns daie and Christmas 
Eve called Larder-silver. " 

In 1 629, George Luttrell demised to Andrew Worth 
of Dunster, yeoman, his executors and assigns,, for 
twenty-one years, " all that the office and baily wicke of 
the borough of Dunster ... and also the outstandinges, 
coveridge-money, and pitchinge-pence on the fayre 
daies and markett daies.... together with the benefitt 
and profitt of tollage and also of weighinge of yarne 
in the New Hall and elsewhere within the borough 
aforesaid, and likewise the rents, yssues, and profitts of 


the butchers' standinges on Whitson Monday yerely, " 
and all other advantages belonging to the bailiwick, 
reserving to himself and his heirs " all instandinges 
and shoppes " and the rents usually paid to him. He 
also undertook to provide " fit, necessary, and sufficient 
boordes, tressells, forckes and poles for the standinges 
aforesaid, as often as neede shall require. " The yearly 
rent of 10/. to be paid by the lessee is explicitly stated 
to be the ancient rent for the bailiwick. ^ 

In the record of proceedings at the court leet in 
October 1739, we find : — 

" Samuel Matthews was at this court elected by the lady 
of the manor bailiff of the borough of Dunster during 
pleasure, and he was then sworn to the due execution of his 

Later on we find the following : — 

" Conditions of a survey held on Thursday the 29th Sept- 
ember 1763, at the Ship Inn in Dunster in the county of 
Somerset for setting (sic) the Cornhouse, Markethouse, 
Tubhouse and butchers' shambles in Dunster aforesaid, 
together with the reasonable use of all the tubs, pecks and 
other measures, boards, trussels, poles, beams, scales and 
weights that now are in or belong to the Markethouse and 
market aforesaid, and all tolls and other advantages, emolu- 
ments, profits and priviledges of the market and fair to be 
holden and kept in Dunster aforesaid and which to the clerk 
of the market of Dunster aforesaid do or may belong and of 
right appertain, except all the inclosed shops and other rooms 
taken out of the Markethouse, for the term of seven years." 

This * survey ' was a sort of auction, at which dif- 
ferent persons stated the yearly rent which they were 
respectively wiUing to pay, and the bids rose from 
47/. to 60/. at which figure the lease was granted to 
George Gale. 

' D.C.M.xv. 22. Of. however D.C.M. xiv. 33, 41. 

294 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

In documents of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries, the profits of the market of Dunster are 
often associated with those of the sea-port. When 
royal writs and proclamations were addressed to the 
different ports of the realm, there were only two 
places in Somerset to which they were sent. Bridge- 
water and Dunster. ^ In 1375, the St. Marie Cog of 
Dunster, a vessel of 57 tons, valued with its cargo at 
275/. was taken or destroyed near the mouth of the 
Loire. ^ Soon after this, Minehead came into notice 
as a port, and it gradually supplanted Dunster. It 
was from Minehead that the Leonard of Dunster 
sailed to Bordeaux in 1417.^ In 1 565, Watchet, 
Dunster Haven, and Porlock Bay are described as 
places in the precinct of Bridgewater at which "smalle 
botes " were wont to land " salte, wyne, vyctualles, 
wood and coole. " * There had recently been trouble 
about the second of these places. According to an 
information filed by the Attorney General, the Port- 
reeve and burgesses of Minehead, relying upon their 
new charter, would not allow any " ship, boat, or 
vessel " to put into Dunster Haven. To enforce 
their prohibition, they used, he averred, to carry off 
the sail of any offending craft, and to imprison the 
master and crew. They also claimed control over 
the sale of merchandise and victuals at the Haven. ^ 

Eventually nature put an end to the maritime 
commerce of Dunster. At best its port was no more 
than a creek at the mouth of the little river, and in 
process of time it got silted up with alluvial matter. 
The course of the river has been changed so much in 

' Rymer's Foedera, vol. ii. p. 701 ; ^ See above, page 88. 

vol. iii. pp. 125, 460, 495, 500, 728 ; '' Exchequer, K.R. Special Commis- 

Calendar oj Close Rolls, /296-1502, p. sions, 1928. 

loi ; 1337-1339, p. 379 ; Calendar of ^ Memoranda Roll, K.R. Easter, 

Patent Rolls, 1390-1401, p. 487. 3 Eliz. m. 109. 

' Chancery Miscellanea, bundle 28. 


recent years that the very site of the medieval Haven 
of Dunster can hardly be recognised, but a long pool 
of fresh w^ater near Sea Lane is still knov^n as ' the 
Hawn. ' 

Along a considerable part of the coast of Somerset 
the lords of Dunster have for centuries claimed the 
right known as ' v^reck of sea. ' There is mention 
of ' the wreck of Dunestor ' as early as the year 1 1 82. * 
When a ship going from Ireland to Wales was 
wrecked at Dunster in 131 1, the people of the 
country, presumably tenants of Sir John de Mohun, 
carried away the cargo. ^ So again, in the reign of 
Richard the Second, the local agents of Lady de 
Mohun seized the sulphur, woad, ginger, raisins, 
writing-paper, flax, sugar, prunes, rice, cinnamon, 
pepper, and other merchandise of Ludovico Gentili 
and Cosimo Doria of Genoa, found in a ship driven on 
to the same shore. ^ Numerous instances have been 
adduced, from the court-rolls and other sources, of the 
exercise of the right to wreck in subsequent centuries, 
the Luttrells claiming it from the Foreland in the 
parish of Countesbury to Shurton Bars in the parish 
of Stoke Courcy, a stretch of some thirty-two miles. 
In 1857, the Board of Trade explicitly admitted the 
title of the late John Fownes Luttrell to unclaimed 
wreck washed ashore between the eastern boundary 
of the parish of Lillstock and the stream dividing the 
counties of Devon and Somerset, thus somewhat cur- 
tailing the line. * 

In the absence of any royal charter conferring 

I Pipe Roll. Dunster, the manors of Minehead and 

^Calendar o, Patent Rolls, 1307- Carhampton, the hundred of Carliamp- 

'3'5> P- 311- ^°"' '*"'^' "^^ manor of Kilton, " as if 

* Rymer's Fccdera, vol. iv. p. 75. each of these properties conferred 

* Hancock's Minehead, pp. 35, 36. separate rights in this respect, and 
The official letter pleonastically ment- uses the word ' comprising ' in a mis- 
ions " the honour and borough of leading sense. 

296 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

privileges upon the early lords of Dunster, we might 
suppose that they were entitled to wreck of sea along 
the whole coast of the Hundred of Carhampton and 
along the coast of all manors comprised in the Hon- 
our, or Barony, of Dunster. Shurton, excluded by 
the Board of Trade, would consequently have been in 
their jurisdiction. On the other hand it is obviously 
unlikely that they had any established rights on the 
coast of such manors as Stoke Courcy, Kilve, or East 
Quantockshead, which were neither in their Hundred 
nor in their Barony. A royal charter of 1267 gave 
to the Abbot and Convent of Cleeve wreck of sea 
along their own piece of the coast, and it is known 
that the Walerands and the Fitzpayns claimed a simi- 
lar right in their manor of Stoke Courcy. ^ The 
cartulary of the Mohun family, compiled by John 
Osberne in 1350, states explicitly that among the 
privileges pertaining to Dunster was that of wreck 
along the whole coast of the Hundred of Carhampton, 
from the water of Oare to that of Sheotemouth near 
the Chapel of St. Mary of Cleeve. 

There is abundant evidence that successive lords of 
the manorsofMinehead,Dunster,andCarhampton have 
been entitled to the foreshore adjoining. Their court- 
rolls and accounts abound in references to ' staches ' and 
' weres ' by the sea as sources of revenue. It is believed 
that upright stakes fixed on a rough wall near low water 
mark were formerly connected with ' freething, ' or 
wattles, so as to catch fish stranded by the reflux of the 
tide. According to modern practice, moveable nets 
are affixed to the stakes for the same purpose. 

Leland, writing in the reign of Henry the Eighth, 
notes that " the Moions hz.d Jura regalia at Dunster." ^ 

• Calendar of Charter Rolls, vol. ii. p. 254. 
p. 69 ; Assize Roll, no. 759, mm. 5, gd.; ^ Itinerary (ed. 1907), p. 166. 

Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1302-1313, 


One of these rights was that of treasure trove through- 
out the Hundred of Carhampton. Another was that 
of hanging thieves caught with the stolen goods upon 
them. Although this ceased to be exercised at an early 
period, the names of Gallockstreet, Gallocksbridge, 
Gallockswell, Gallockscross and Gallocksdown have 
survived. John Osberne, writing in 1350, mentions 
gallows called ' Scamerdon ', common to Dunster and 
Carhampton.^ There were also gallows at Minehead, 
not far from Lower Hopcot.^ Another highly valued 
right of the Mohuns was the ' extract,' or * return,' of 
writs, the sheriff of the county being precluded from 
executing any royal instructions within their privileged 
area save through the agency of their bailiff. ^ 

Leland states briefly that " the toun of Dunestorre 
makith cloth. " ^ Local notices of this industry ex- 
tend over more than five centuries of English history. 
In an elaborate ' extent ' of the manor of Dunster 
made in 1266, we may observe the names of Adam 
the dyer, Walter the webber ftextorj, William the 
fuller, Alice the webber (textrixj and Christina the 
webber.^ In 1259, as again in 1279, 1330 and i 376, 
a fulling-mill yielded a rent of 1 3^. 4^. to the lord 
of the manor. ^ This was presumably the building 
described in 141 1 and 1437 as " le tokyng mill. " ^ 

The business seems to have increased, for in 1376, 
the reeve of Dunster accounted for I2d. " of the new 
rent of WiUiam Taillour at Hocktide and Michaelmas 
for a fulling-mill which the said William has erected 
over the lord's watercourse. " " In 141 8, this mill is 

> Mohun Cartulary. * D.C.M. vili. 4. 

* D.C.M. viii. 6 ; XXXI. 5. ' D.C.M. xvii. 2 ; Inq. post mortem, 
» RotnliHiitulredonim, vol. ii. p. 125; C. Edw. I. file 22 (i): Edw. HI. file 22 

Pollock &■ Maitland's History of English (11) ; D.C.M. ix. 2. 
Law, vol. i. pp. 583, 644. ' D.C.M. X. I ; XI. 3. 

* Itinerary, p. 166. » D.C.M. ix. 2. 


298 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

described as situate near ' le Colverhay. ' Thomas 
Touker was then paying the old rent of i 31. 4^. for 
a fulling mill ' under Grobhurst ; ' a third mill ' near 
Barlebienshey (sic) ' yielded 2s. ; and the Abbot of 
Cleeve had a fourth in or near West Street. ^ A few 
years later, only three such mills are mentioned, that 
situate under Parlbienshay, that rented by Thomas 
Touker at Frilford or Frekeford, and that which 
Thomas Touker the younger rented from the Abbot 
of Cleeve. ^ In the reigns of Henry the Fourth and 
Fifth, one of the public highways in Dunster was 
known as ' Toukerstrete. ' As it certainly adjoined 
some running water, it may have been the continuation 
of West Street towards Frackford. ^ In the later 
part of the reign of Henry the Sixth, Robert Touker 
paid yearly rent for a fulling-mill newly built on the 
eastern side of the Castle, but presumably far below it.^ 
In 1467, an order was made by the borough 
court : — 

" That nobody shall henceforth make linen cloth of 
* flockys, * and if it be proved by anyone that then the cloth 
so made shall be forfeited to the lord. " ^ 

In 1492, three persons were amerced for polluting 
the river between Dunster and Dunster Hanger with 
" le wodewater, " and an order was made : — 

" That no dyer shall henceforth put or throw * le wode- 
water ' in the lord's stream (rivulo) before eight o'clock at 
night, under pain of /\.od. every time. 

In 1494, there were two presentments at the 
court : — 

" William Morgan has unlawfully made his cloth mixed 

1 D.C.M. XI. I. Parlebienshay was '^ D.C.M. x. 3 ; xi. 2. 

so called after a man who bore the '' D.C.M. xviii. 4. 

French nickname of ' Parlebien. ' * D.C.M. xii. 4. 

» D.C.M. xviii. 3, 4. 


with * flokkes, ' to the detriment of his neighbours, and 
contrary to the statute issued on this behalf. Therefore he 
is amerced ^od. " 

" John Lechelond unlawfully makes his cloth with 'cardes * 
{i.e. thistles), contrary to the statute. Therefore he is 
amerced 3<^. 

It is interesting to note traces of a Sabbatarian 
spirit at this period. At a court held in April 1491, 
it was ordained : — 

" That no fuller shall henceforth allow his mills to make 
cloth from the time of evensong on Saturday until after 
vespers on Sunday, under pain of 6j. 8<^., whereof 40*^. to 
the lord and /\.od. to the church. " 

Two fullers were amerced in that year for breach 
of this ordinance. ^ 

Special arrangements were necessary for drying the 
cloth after the process of ' fulling, ' or ' tucking. ' In 
1459, a member of the trade was empowered to make 
a ' tentorium^ ' called " in English ' le reck ' " on the 
' Castel Torre ' at Dunster on a strip of ground meas- 
uring 63 feet by 18.^ In i486, there were several 
' tenters, ' or racks * on Grobfaste, ' and the bailiff of 
the borough accounted to Sir Hugh Luttrell for 6^. 
received from John Cok for one tenter and for 2s. bd. 
for divers tenters. In the following year, he debited 
himself with 71. ' new rent ' for tenters set up ' on 
the Castle Tor' and 'on Grobfast. ' ^ In 1529, 
Thomas Everard the younger paid rent to the lord of 
Dunster for " a clotherack caulyd the myddell racke 
upon Grobfast, with a fullyng myll caulyd Frekeford," 
which has been already mentioned. " 

By a will dated in 1 57 1 , Richard Worth of Dunster 
bequeathed 6/. i 3^. \d. to the use of young beginners 

' D.C.M. xiii. I. ^ D.C.M. XIII. 2. 

» D.C.M. XII. J. * D.C.M. XIX. 8. 

300 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

exercising the art of cloth-making in the borough. ^ 
Later in the reign of Elizabeth, the tucking-mill with 
two stocks that had formerly belonged to the Abbot of 
Cleeve was pulled down by the grantee, Colle, in 
order to make room for two new grist-mills. George 
Luttrell, as owner of the ancient manorial grist-mills, 
retaliated by diverting a part of the water-course, 
whereupon Colle brought a suit against for him break- 
ing the head-weir at Hurlepool. ^ 

In 1589, George Howe of Dunster, clothier, built 
" one tuckinge or fullinge mill " of two " stooks " 
adjoining the eastern end of the " water griste mille," 
situate " under the Castell Torre, on the south parte 
thereof. " In consideration of his expenses, he ob- 
tained from George Luttrell a lease for twenty-one 
years of the said new mill, a close called Culvercliffe 
containing two acres, with a rack standing therein 
' under Grobhurst,' two " rackromes " standing on 
the south-western part of the Castle Tor, and a little 
plot called the ' Hopkegarden ' on the western side of 
the common ryne adjoining the grist-mill, the whole 
at the nominal rent of 26s. S^. ^ 

There is a parliamentary enactment of 1601 that 

" Dunster cotton hereafter shalbe by this present acte 
intended and taken to be of like length and breadth as 
Taunton and Bridgewater cloth. "* 

Six years later, there is a further enactment : — 

" That every broad cloth commonly called Tauntons, 
Bridgewaters and Dunsters, made in the western part of 
Somersetshire, or elsewhere of like making, shall contain, 
being thoroughly wet, between twelve and thirteen yards, and 
in breadth seven quarters of a yard at the least, and being 
well scoured, thicked, milled and fully dried, shall weigh 
thirty pounds the cloth at least. "^ 

' Brown's Somersetshire Wills, vol. ^ D.C.M. xiv. 29. 

ii. p. 81. •* St. 43 Eliz. c. 10. 

2 D.C.M. XV. 4. 5 St. 4. Jac. I. c. 2. 


It was for the sale of cloth that George Luttrell 
built the octagonal Market-House which is so pictur- 
esque a feature in the main street of Dunster. 

In 1655, there is mention of a piece of waste land 
beaten out of the rock at the lower end of West Street, 
adjoining the mill-stream, under a close called ' Racke 
Cloase ' wherein stood divers fullers' racks. Two 
years later, Francis Luttrell received 35J. for the rent 
of seven ' rack rooms ' then in use, of which five were 
on the Castle Tor. By 1670, the total number of 
rack-rooms had risen to nine, but the rent therefrom 
had fallen to 30J-. 

In 171 3, William Leigh of Dunster, clothier, took 
a lease of a messuage called ' Frackford, ' comprising 
a dwelling-house and two fulling-mills, with a coppice 
called ' Rack Close ' situate ' under Goose Wheekes 
Path, ' with the right of setting up racks on the side 
of Grabbist Hill. From 1682 to 1760, the smaller 
fulling-mill next to the old grist-mills seems to have 
been in the hands of successive members of the Hos- 
som family, who latterly paid only 6s. 8^. rent and a 
heriot, or fine, of i 31. 4^. on succession. It is described 
as " of no value " in 1746 " by reason of the badness 
of trade. " A tenant was, however, found for it six 
years later, and in 1777 it was supposed to yield 8/. 
a year to the owner of the Castle. The fullers' rack 
rents which brought in 3/. 8j. in 171 9 had by 1746 
sunk to i/,, there being only five let at 4J. apiece. 
After 1764, they disappear from the rental. Never- 
theless, Henry Fownes Luttrell thought it worth 
while, in 1765, to convert a grist-mill, which he had 
bought from one Ingram, into a fulling-mill. This, 
with a piece of meadow, yielded at first 15/. a year, 
but only 8/. in 1779. Ingram may have been the 
eventual successor of Colle mentioned above. 

302 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

Savage, writing in 1830 with regard to the industry 
of Dunster in the eighteenth century says : — 

" At that time the female inmates of farm houses, in this 
and the neighbouring district, from the mistress to the ap- 
prentice maid, and the wives and daughters of the labourers, 
were employed, when not occupied about their household 
affairs or farms, in spinning their master's wool into yarn by 
hand, which was regularly carried to this market and sold to 
the clothiers here, and others who came from Old Cleeve, 
Williton, Putsham, Wiveliscombe, and other places. " ^ 

The periodical courts of the borough of Dunster 
are mentioned by the name of the ' portmote ' in 
1279, when its pleas and perquisites were valued at 
20s J In 1330, they were valued at 5// The rolls 
of the fifteenth century show very much larger profits 
to the lord. 

The two principal courts of the year, ' law-days, ' 
or courts leet ' with view of frank-pledge, ' were that 
of Hocktide, about a fortnight after Easter, and that 
of Michaelmas term, usually held on the Monday after 
the feast of St. Luke (October 18). The court next 
after either of these was sometimes styled in Latin 
' cun'a comp/eta, ' or in English ' the fulfilling day. ' 
Other courts were held throughout the year at intervals 
of not less than three weeks. The lord's steward was 
of course the president at all the courts alike. The 
bailiff was also invariably present. A jury of twelve 
freemen attended at the two principal courts and 
sometimes at the two courts that followed them. At 
the meeting in October, election was made of the 
officers of the borough, two constables of the peace, 
two bread-weighers and two ale-tasters, in the four- 
teenth century. To these were added, in the reign 

1 History of the Hundred of Carhamp- 22 (i). 
ton, p. 383. 3 iiji^i c. Edw. ni. file 22 (ii). 

- Inq. post mortem, C. Edw. I., file 


of Henry the Fourth, two surveyors of victuals or 
keepers of the shambles, and, in the reign of Henry 
the Eighth, tv^^o keepers of the streets. 

It was the duty of the constables to ' present, ' or 
report, all breaches of the peace, with a view to the 
amercement of the offenders, and to confiscate any 
weapon used. Their action was independent of such 
proceedings as the aggrieved parties might take in 
the court against their assailants. Persons of all ranks 
appear in the lists of presentments : — 

1410, October 23. "Richard the chaplain of Lullokes- 
burg drew blood of Laurence Scolemayster with his fist, 
contrary to the peace. " 

141 1, March 16. "John Spere chaplain drew a knife 
against John Loty, contrary to the peace. Therefore he is 
in mercy, 6d. And John Loty drew a dagger — forfeited to 
the lord — against John Spere chaplain. Therefore he is in 
mercy, 6d. " ^ 

It was the duty of the bread-weighers to present 
any bakers who sold loaves of insufficient size or bad 
quality. The ale-tasters used to * present ' brewers and 
ale-wives who tapped their barrels before the contents 
had been examined, those who refused to supply 
samples, those who made use of unauthorised measures 
and those who sold beer in houses undistinguished by 
a signboard. 

1409, October. " Elizabeth Jone who had ale for sale in 
a tavern refused it to Thomas Paccehole and afterwards sold 
six gallons — which are forfeited — from the same tavern. 
Therefore she is in mercy, 12^."^ 

Beer was indeed a source of considerable profit to 
the lords of Dunster in the fifteenth century. At 
court after court, fines were imposed upon persons 

1 D.C.M. X. 3. * t»C.M. X. 3. 

304 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

' presented ' for having ' brewed and broken the 
assise. ' On one occasion, no less than eighty-six 
persons were for this reason required to pay 6d. apiece, 
but it is clear that they were not regarded as moral 
delinquents, the bailiff's presentments of them being 
quite distinct from the ale-tasters' presentments of 
dishonest publicans. The amount of the fines imposed 
upon respectable householders generally varied accord- 
ing to the number of times on which they had com- 
mitted a purely technical offence. ^ In the reign of 
Henry the Sixth, these fines were payable to the 
Constable of the Castle. Butchers were sometimes 
amerced for selling meat at home, instead of bringing 
it to market. They were also liable to get into 
trouble if they removed the skins of the slaughtered 
beasts and tried to sell them separately. The con- 
sumers on the other hand were free to recover some 
of their outlay. So it was that, in the reign of Henry 
the Fourth, the steward of the household of Sir Hugh 
Luttrell used to sell hides, calf-skins, and woolfells, 
after sending beef, veal and mutton into the kitchen. ^ 

1408, May 8. " John Diere, a common fisherman, went 
away with his fish, in prejudice of the town and contrary to 
the custom of the borough. Therefore he is in mercy, 4^. " 

1424, October 23. " Walter Phelp, Walter Stone, Philip 
Cras, John Oldley, tenants of the lord, sold their fish to 
strangers before offering {protuP) it in the lord's court at the 
Castle, contrary to the ancient ordinance. Therefore they 
are in mercy, 6d. ^d. 6d. 3<^. " 

The jury usually endorsed the presentments made 
by the elected officers of the borough. In a few in- 
stances they disagreed with the constables with regard 
to assaults. The supplementary presentments made 
by them, are far more varied and interesting than 

• D.C.M. XII. 1-4. 2 D.C.M. XXXVII. 7. 


those made by the officers. The commonest offisnces, 
reported time after time, were the laying of dung in 
the streets, the obstruction of gutters, and the pollution 
of streams. Then again the principal burgesses, from 
the Benedictine Prior downwards, were frequently 
amerced for allowing their pigs to roam at large in 
the town, although it might have been argued that 
there were no better scavengers. Some topographical 
information is to be gleaned from precepts to particular 
persons to repair specified roads and bridges. The 
jury were always severe against persons who tried to 
carry on more than one trade, against 'forestallers' who 
intercepted provisions on the way to the market, and 
' regraters ' who bought wholesale in the morning 
with a view to selling later in the day at an enhanced 
price. The ordinary buyer was to be protected against 
speculators of all sorts. 

In imposing penalties on individuals, the jury was 
often satisfied to rely upon common report, without 
requiring evidence of the commission of a specific 
offence. Thus a petty pilferer, or ' holcrop ', might 
be amerced upon general grounds. ' 

1408, May. " Ellen Watkyns is a common * holcroppe ' 
of divers things and a common scold and disturber of the 
peace. Therefore she is in mercy, 4^.... Geoffrey Taillour 
is a common night-walker and disturber of the peace. There- 
fore he is in mercy, half a mark. " ' 

1443, April 8. "John [Towker, ' coryser, ' servant of 
William Bedewyn] is a common spy or listener at the 
windows of the neighbours, and likewise a common night- 
walker and eavesdropper {lucultator). Therefore he is in 
mercy, y. \d. " ' 

1493, August 5. " Order John Huyshe and Jerard 
Goldesmyth that henceforth they do not allow their wives 

' The obscure word ' holcrop ' occurs hampton. 
also in the court rolls of the manor of * D.C.M. x. 3. 

Minehead, and of the hundred of Car- * D.C.M. xii. 3. 

3o6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

to quarrel or to use opprobrious or scandalous words against 
their neighbours or them {seipsos)^ under pain of either of 
them delinquent in the matter oiios. to be paid to the lord." ^ 

From time to time the constables were directed by 
the court to eject notorious scolds from the borough. 
On rarer occasions the court displayed solicitude 
as to the private morals of individual householders. 
Under an ancient regulation, no burgess w^as allowed 
to entertain a stranger for more than three days and 
three nights without reporting him to the constables. 
On the other hand two men were amerced i^d. apiece, 
in 141 2, for refusing to receive certain pilgrims. 

Men were liable to amercement if they refused to 
serve as watchmen at the time of the Midsummer 
bonfires. In the autumn, labourers were often fined 3^. 
apiece for going away ' eastward ', with a view to 
getting higher wages as harvesters than they could get 
at Dunster. 

In the second half of the fifteenth century, the 
court made various ordinances for the good govern- 
ment of the borough, some of which may be quoted 
here : — 

1467, April 20. " That nobody shall henceforth put 
dung, straw, or other nuisances in the water running to the 
lord's mills at any time of the week, save after (^citra) one 
o'clock after noon on Saturday ; and that the whole ' flode- 
yate ' standing in the same water shall be open by {ergo) the 
aforesaid hour ; under pain of all those who can be found 
in default of (id. to be paid to the lord. " ^ 

1489, May II. " That nobody dwelling beside the lord's 
water between the tenement of William Symes and the lord's 
mill shall throw any dirt or straw into the water there during 
the week, save on Sunday after two o'clock after noon, under 
pain of every one delinquent therein of iid. every time. " 

1490. October 22. " That nobody shall henceforth throw 

' D.C.M. XIII. I. 2 D.C.M. XII. 3. 


any dirt into the water running to the lord's mill, save only 
on Saturday after twelve o'clock, under pain of ^od. " 

1496, October 24. " That nobody shall henceforth put 
or throw any dirt or dung in the water running to the lord's 
mills save only on Saturday at the second hour after dinner, 
under pain of 3^. as often as anyone shall happen to be 
found in default herein. 

i486, April 17. "That nobody shall henceforth put or 
throw any ashes with fire on any ' donghill ' within the town, 
under pain of ^od. " 

1493, October 21. "That nobody in the borough shall 
henceforth make a fire outside the chimney, in any house 
covered with thatch {stramine)^ under pain of 10s. " 

1488, April 29. " That nobody shall henceforth winnow 
{yentulai) his grain in ' le Castell Bayly ' and at ' le Barrys ' 
unless he forthwith remove the chaff arising therefrom, 
under pain of everyone delinquent therein oi iid every 
time. " 

i486, April 17. "That nobody shall henceforth break 
the palings of the lord's park or carry them away, or have 
any gates or footpaths in the lord's park, without licence, 
save the parker of the same, under pain oi \od. 

1489, October 22. "That nobody shall henceforth sell 
any loads of furze called ' trusses ' beyond i\d. under pain 
of \id. of the seller and the buyer alike. " 

1 49 1, April 25, "That nobody resident {manens) in the 
borough, who is not a burgess, shall henceforth cut or dig 
heath on Crowdon for sale, but only for his own use, under 
pain of \od ; and that no stranger resident without the 
borough shall henceforth cut or dig heath or turf on Crow- 
don, unless he be hired by burgesses of the aforesaid borough, 
under pain of 6j. %d. 

1489, October 22. " That nobody of the country {patrie) 
shall henceforth buy any grain in the market before ten 
o'clock, under pain of 40^. 

1496, October 24. " That no baker in the borough shall 
henceforth buy grain in the market, or go into the market 
to buy any grain therein before eleven o'clock, under pain 
of 6s. Sd. one half to be paid to the lord and the other half 
to the church. " 

3o8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

1489, October 22. " That nobody shall henceforth keep 
in his service any Irish servants, save one, under pain of 

lOJ. " 

1492, May. "That nobody shall henceforth keep grey- 
hounds (Jeporarios sive leporarias) in the borough unless he 
can spend 40J. of yearly income (redditus) under pain of 
6s. %d. " ^ 

1472, October 19. "That nobody shall henceforth use 
or carry swords, lances, ' gleyves, ' or other defensible and 
unlawful arms, contrary to the statute of our lord the king 
provided in this respect, under pain of forfeiture of the same 
and 6j. %d. for every offence of this sort, to be paid to the 
lord as often as discovery shall be made. " 

" And it is ordained likewise by the court, with the assent 
of the twelve jurors and the other officers (aforesaid) that 
no man shall henceforth shoot with his bows {arquis) and 
arrows in the churchyard of Dunster, or unlawfully practice 
games there, under pain of \od. 

" And it is ordained likewise by the court, with the assent 
of the twelve jurors (aforesaid) that nobody in the borough 
shall henceforth play at dice or cards {cardos)^ under pain of 
every one who shall be found in default thus of 6j. 8^. And 
that nobody shall allow games of this sort to be practised in 
his house, save during twelve days at Christmas, under pain 
of los. " ' 

1 49 1, October 24. "That nobody shall henceforth play 
at dice or cards in the borough, save only during ten days 
at Christmas, under pain of every one who shall so play 
of 40^. every time, and of every one of those who shall 
allow such games in their houses of 6s. %d. " ^ 

In the interest of the lord, the court of the borough 
of Dunster occasionally reported on treasure trove, on 
felons' goods, and other accidental sources of profit. 
As between individuals, it heard pleas of assault, tres- 
pass, debt, detinue, breach of covenant, and other 

' D.C.M. XIII. I. This local ordinance mentonim, vol. iii. p. 273; vol. iv. p. 122. 
was a belated echo of a statute of 1389 ^ D.C.M. xii. 4. 

which was confirmed in 1419. St. 13. ■' D.C.M. xiii. i. 

Ric. H. no. I. cap. 13 ; Rotuli Parlia- 


matters. The rolls, however, give very little inform- 
ation about private suits, beyond the mere names of 
the parties. It seems clear that they were kept mainly 
to record the fees and the amercements accruing to 
the lord. 

When John Luttrell succeeded his father. Sir Hugh, 
in 1430, the bailiff was ordered to distrain the Abbot 
of Cleeve and many other freeholders to do fealty to 
him at the next court. ^ Suitors who did not attend 
were liable to a fine of 3^. in the fifteenth century, 
but the more substantial of them found it preferable 
to compound for their absence for a twelvemonth by 
a single payment of 4^. 6^. or is. according to cir- 
cumstances. In 1 5 17, Sir John Trevelyan went to 
the trouble of obtaining a writ ' of provision ' from 
Westminster, directing the ' bailiffs ' of the borough 
of Dunster to admit his attorney, the ' common 
council ' of the realm having provided that every 
free man owing suit to the court of a superior lord 
might appoint another person to appear in his stead. ^ 
This did not tend to raise the credit of the borough 
court in local estimation. 

For more than a century after the reign of Henry 
the Eighth, the records of this court are very scanty, 
but there are brief notes of pleas of debt heard therein 
in the reign of Elizabeth. The staff of officers elected 
annually seems to have been increased, about 161 6, 
by the appointment of two searchers and sealers of 
leather. ^ In 1 6 1 7 and the following year, the deputy 
of the Clerk of the Market of the King's Household 
attempted to exercise jurisdiction over the constables 
of the borough, but George Luttrell applied to the 
Exchequer for redress, contending with truth that he 

' D.C.M. XII. 2. to be to the Statute of Meiton of 1236. 

» D.C.M. xiu. 3. The reference seems '' D.C.M. Iii. 13. 


and his ancestors, lords of Dunster, had been used 
" to keepe courtes leete " there twice a year from 
time out of mind. ^ 

By the time of Charles the Second, the borough 
court had lost much of its ancient authority, and its 
meetings had become reduced to two in the year, one 
in Easter term and the other in Michaelmas term, 
survivals of the ' lawdays ' of the middle ages. Suc- 
cessive stewards seem to have introduced various 
changes of name and practice. In 1682, the amerce- 
ments for non-attendance were bd. apiece for free 
suitors and 3^. for other ' resiants, ' or residents, 
within the borough. ' The lord's tenants, ' that is 
to say lease-holders, were afterwards subjected to a 
fine of 1J-. apiece for similar default. In 1732, there 
is mention of " the jury at a court leet and court 
baron held for the borough, " and seven years later a 
nominal distinction was established between the court 
leet for the borough and the court baron of the manor, 
the former having a ' jury ' of twelve men and the 
latter a ' homage ' of four or five, not always capable 
of signing their own names. Both were, however, 
summoned for the same day and place. The court 
in Easter term was discontinued in 1762. 

The records of the borough court in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries afford some scraps of topo- 
graphical information, but are otherwise rather mono- 
tonous. The bread-weighers, as of old, used to 'present' 
bakers who sold loaves below the prescribed standard. 
The clerks of the market were also watchful over 
weights and measures. The ale-tasters used to demand 
from the different publicans a sample quart of beer, 
or a penny, " according to the custom of the manor. " 
The street-keepers had frequent occasion to complain 

' Exchequer Decrees and Orders, Series H, vol. 28, f. 105. 


of persons who laid dung on the public thoroughfares, 
or washed sheepskins in " the Dunster river. " For 
their guidance an order was made in 1 7 1 2 as follows: — 

" That the street-keepers shall not exact or receive more 
then one penny for one pig, and proportionably for any 
number they shall take up within the burrough, besides the 
duty to the bayliff for the pound. " 

Sometimes the elected officers were themselves 
charged with neglect of their respective duties. Nor 
was the lord of the manor always immune. Formal 
presentments were occasionally made that he had 
failed to keep the pavement of Market Street in 
proper condition, and that he had not repaired the 
stocks, the pillory and the cucking-stool, " instrum- 
ents of justice. " On the other hand the court was 
Jealous of his rights and would not suffer encroachment 
on his waste by the erection of ' leaping-stocks ' or 
otherwise. In 17 14, several persons were presented 
for erecting porches in the street beyond the line of 
their pent-houses, and for setting up sign-posts before 
their respective doors. 

In the nineteenth century, the court leet and the 
court baron sat together, once a year. The chief 
business of the former was to impose fines of \d. 
apiece on all male residents in Dunster between the 
ages of fourteen and seventy who had failed to appear. 
In point of fact the collector was usually satisfied if 
he could levy \d. to maintain the principle that suit 
was due. The court baron affected to impose fines of 
IS. 6d. on freeholders and is. on leaseholders who did 
not attend. The same persons often served on the jury 
and on the homage. After transacting a minimum of 
purely formal business in the Town-hall, the members 
used to adjourn to the Luttrell Arms Hotels to be 
regaled at the cost of the lord of the manor. The 

312 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

courts, having long ceased to be of any use whatever, 
were discontinued in 1891. 

The periodical courts of the borough were, in the 
middle ages, quite distinct from those of the manor. 
The reeve of Dunster, the acting chief of the agricult- 
ural community was, in 1 1 83, fined for exporting corn 
from the realm. ^ In the various court-rolls, accounts, 
and ' extents ' of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fif- 
teenth centuries that have been preserved at the Public 
Record Office and in the muniment-room at the 
Castle, there seems at first sight to be a serious con- 
fusion between the manors of Dunster and Carhampton. 
Considering that many manors had outlying members, 
the mere facts that Gillcotts at the eastern end of 
Carhampton is at one time reckoned as part of Dun- 
ster, while at another time Carhampton is made to 
include Conigar, in the very heart of Dunster, would 
not of themselves present any difficulty, if the docu- 
ments did not appear to contradict each other on 
points of greater importance, such as the situation of 
the mills. The explanation is, however, very simple. 
For agricultural and economic purposes, there was no 
distinction between Carhampton and that part of 
Dunster which lay without the borough. 

"The delimitation of one manor from other manors of 
the same lord seems to be a matter of convenience : one may 
become two, two may become one, as the lord chooses to 
have his accounts kept, his rents collected, his produce 
garnered in this way or in that. " ^ 

The manors of Dunster and Carhampton were for 
centuries administered as one estate, the reeve taking 
his title sometimes from one place, sometimes from 
the other. Whenever there is a reeve's account for 

' Pipe Roll. English Law, vol. i. p. 604. 

2 Pollock & Maitland's History of 


one, there is none for the other, the two series of 
accounts being in fact a single series, through which 
certain yearly receipts and payments can be traced 
continuously. ^ 

In the reign of Richard the Second, the courts of 
the combined manors of Dunster and Carhampton 
used to be attended by the tithingmen of Carhampton 
and Rodhuish, the woodwards of Langcombe and 
Langridge, the parker of Marshwood and the gardener 
of Lady de Mohun. 

The rural population of the combined manors of 
Dunster and Carhampton comprised two classes of 
tenants, the freeholders, and those who held upon 
servile conditions. The former are in 1266 styled 
" tenants by charter. " Some of them paid rents in 
money quarterly, some half-yearly, and some at 
Michaelmas only. There were also various rents 
payable in kind, such as capons, wax, and pepper. 
Almost all the freeholders owed suit of court twice a 
year at Hocktide (soon after Easter) and Michaelmas. 

The quarterly rents paid by the customary tenants 
or villeins amounted to more than those paid by the 
freeholders. Certain sums were also levied from them 
at Michaelmas under the name of ' larder-silver. ' 
The value of the work which different persons had 
to do for the lord was approximately equal to their 
rent. Among the services enumerated in 1266 are 
ploughing in winter, harrowing, weeding, sowing in 
Lent, mowing, spreading and carrying hay, making 
the hay-rick, reaping wheat, barley and oats, cleansing 
the weir on the river, digging in the vineyard, and 
gathering withies for hurdles. One tenant was bound 
to provide a man, horse and wagon, when necessary, 

' Prynne increased the difficulty of reeve of Dunster with those of the 
search by mixing the accounts of the bailiff of the boroufh. 

314 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

to go as far as Bridgewater in one direction, or the 
border of the county on the road to Exeter in another. 
Philip the Carter was similarly bound to deliver writs 
issued in the lord's name. In consideration of the 
rent and services minutely specified, each of the 
peasants had his own piece of land. All their holdings 
were small. Wymarca of Marshwood held half a 
virgate of land, which in this district meant twenty- 
four acres. ^ Eleven others held a ferling, that is to 
say twelve acres, apiece. Sixteen others held six acres 
apiece, and there were some who held even less. 
The ' extent ' unfortunately says nothing as to the 
length of tenure enjoyed by these different persons, 
or as to the profits accruing to the lord upon the 
death of any of them. ^ 

Those of the peasants who had to devote an ex- 
ceptional amount of time and labour to the service of 
the lord had some special exemptions and privileges. 

" Whosoever shall be reeve of Dunsterre shall be quit 
of rent and all his other services, and shall have food (escul- 
enta) in the Castle when the lord and lady are staying there. 
And he shall have throughout the year at the cost of the 
lord a mare of his without provender (unani equam suam 
sine prebend' ). 

" Whosoever shall be hayward (messor) shall be quit of 
rent and of service, and shall have a virgate of meadow in 
Karemor, and a moiety of a * logge ' there beside the hay- 
rick, containing seven feet in length and seven feet in 
breadth, to guard the lord's meadow covered with hay ; and 
he shall have a * stathel ' of the said rick of the depth of 
about a foot. And he shall have * landweyes ' everywhere 
except in Prestelonde where the lord cannot plough ; and at 
every boonwork of August a sheaf and [the like] at every 

Mn an ' extent ' of the adjoining ^ In the ' extent ' mentioned in the 

manor of Minehead made in 1300, it is previous note there is a statement that 

specifically stated that half a virgate " if the lord shall wish to have a keeper 

contained twenty-four acres, and that a of the water of La Waterlete, he (the 

ferling contained twelve acres. D.C.M. keeper) shall have a ' slabb ' of iron to 

XXVI. 2. make his spade (bcscam). " 


boonwork for carrying the lord's corn. And it is worth 
3J. 8^. And he has in La Waterlete a cow quit of herbage. 
And it is worth Gd. 

" Whosoever shall be bedel shall be quit of rent and 
service and shall have a virgate in Karamor and a cow there 
and a moiety of the said ' logge, ' and a sheaf as above, and 
his dinner. 

" Whosoever shall be keeper of La Waterlete shall be 
quit of rent and service and shall have a cow in La Water- 
lete and a ' slab ' of iron for the repair of his spade (bescam) 
of the price of i^d. and dinner as above. 

" The carpenter shall make four ploughs (faciei iiij carucas 
et exallar ) with all the gear (atillo), a cart (carettam) for 
dung (fynia)^ and four wagons and all reins, and the outer 
gate of the Barton, and he shall be quit of rent and service, 
and shall have a virgate in Karamor and a cow in Waterlete 
and dinner as above. 

" Whosoever shall be a ploughman (carucarius) shall be 
quit of rent and service and [shall have the use of the 
plough] the second Saturday throughout the year. " ^ 

In an account of the reeve of Dunster and Car- 
hampton for 1259, he credits himself in the first 
instance : — 

" In the allowance of works for a year for the reeve, the 
bedel of Karempton, the carpenter, the hayward {haywardo\ 
six ploughmen, and the keeper of the water, 23J. " 

Inasmuch as he does not debit himself with any 
pecuniary receipts for ' works ' sold or commuted, it 
would appear that at this date the lord's demesne was 
actually cultivated by the villeins, his customary 
tenants. Their obligatory services were, however, 
insufficient for the purpose, and the reeve had to 
employ some men on task-work {ad tascham)^ for 
which they were duly paid. The rental of Carhamp- 
ton, which included the agricultural part of Dunster, 

• D.C.M. viii. 4 ; Ciistutuals of Bailie Abbiy (ed. Bird), p. 66. 

3i6 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

was then 14/. los. lo^d. in money, besides rents in 
capons, fowls, pepper and wax. ^ 

Twenty years later, the pecuniary rents are carefully 
divided — 5/. 1 3/. lod. from free men and 1 1/. 6j-. 9^^. 
from villeins, whose customary works were valued at 
a further sum oi ill. lis. ^\d. 

The lord's demesne then comprised various woods 
and pastures and 493 acres of land, varying in value 
from i\d. to 6d.^ An inquisition of 1330 states that 
I GO acres of arable land there were worth /\.d. apiece, 
and that 300 other acres were worth 6d. while 58^ 
acres of meadow were worth as much as 2s. 6d. apiece. 
The ' works ' of the customary tenants were then 
valued at 10/. 5/. /\.d. ^ There are no accounts extant 
to show how much of the agricultural work on the 
demesne was actually done by the villeins in the middle 
of the fourteenth century. It is, however, tolerably 
certain that, as money decreased in value, they availed 
themselves more and more of the right of commuting 
their personal services for pecuniary payments upon 
a scale fixed long before. In course of time, more- 
over, many of them surrendered their holdings and 
took them back upon new conditions, to be held 
' according to the custom of the manor ' and ' by copy 
of court-roll. ' * 

Several incidental mentions of the Barton, or home- 
farm, of the medieval lords of Dunster show that it 
stood under the shadow of the Tor near the Barn- 
bridge over the river, a little to the north of the 
grist-mills. A gate led thence into the Hanger Park. ^ 
There was also a court and grange at Marsh belonging 
to the Castle. "^ In many manors, such as Minehead, 

1 D.C.M. XVII. 2. * D.C.M. XVIII. 5, 6. 

- Inq. post mortem, C. Edw. I. file '" D.C.M. xi. 3. 

22 (i). * D.C.M. xviii. 2. 
3 Ibid. C. Edw. III. iile 22 (11). 


small pieces of the demesne were intermingled with 
plots of land belonging to different tenants. In Duns- 
ter and Carhampton, however, most of the demesne 
consisted of large fields enclosed by hedges. One 
outlying piece of pasture called ' Kingsallers ' recalls 
by its name the fact that Carhampton had belonged 
to William the Conqueror and to King Edward before 
him. Another piece of the demesne was known as 
' Old Court. ' The Waterlete already mentioned lay 
to the north-east of the town and was divided into 
three fields, Chapelwaterlete, comprising about 96 
acres near Giltchapel, Chiselwaterlete, nearer to the 
sea, and Marshwaterlete, near Marsh, each of these 
two comprising about 69 acres. All three were well 
irrigated and very fertile. These, with perhaps some 
others, were known for centuries as ' the lord's fields. ' 
The common fields, divided into strips, were mostly 
on the north side of Grabbist. 

In the later part of the fourteenth century, Lady 
de Mohun, having left Dunster and closed the Castle, 
virtually ceased to maintain the farm there. The 
demesne was let in sections, and the rent therefrom 
was sent to her in London or in Kent. Under these 
circumstances, it would have been difficult to maintain 
an effisctive claim upon the services of villeins. By 
I 377, the number of ' autumn works ' in this manor 
had, through various causes, fallen to forty-nine and a 
half, which were ' sold, ' or commuted, for zd. apiece. 
Most of these were practically remitted in the follow- 
ing year, when the Waterletes were let " to divers 
tenants, " probably some of the very persons who 
were liable for their cultivation. Under the system 
then introduced, the owner of the Castle got 2j. 6^. 
from every acre sown in the spring and reaped in the 
summer, with something additional for the right of 

3i8 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

turning beasts on to the land in autumn and winter. 
Each of these three great fields was in turn allowed 
to lie fallow for a year. ^ 

Sir Hugh Luttrell did not materially alter the 
agricultural arrangements which he found in force 
when he obtained the Mohun estate. Maintaining 
a home-farm at East Quantockshead, he made no 
attempt to grow cereals on the demesne at Dunster, 
or to keep cattle or sheep there. Hay was, however, 
necessary for his horses, and so he took some of the 
meadows into his own hands. He also resumed pos- 
session of various pieces of the demesne adjoining the 
Hanger Park, for the enlargement of it and for the 
use of his household. In his time, certain tenants at 
Broadwood paid 2s. ()d. year after year for ' autumn 
works ' commuted into money. ^ Occasional services 
known as ' boonworks ' were sometimes exacted from 
the customary tenants now greatly reduced in num- 
ber. Ten men who were called upon to dig in 
Chapel waterlete in 141 5 "" de prece \ received only 
two pennyworth of bread. Some men and women 
working in the same year among the beans in the 
field known as Avelham were given mutton, pork, 
oatmeal, bread, cheese, salt and beer, but no wages. ^ 

In the inquisitions taken after the deaths of Sir 
Hugh Luttrell in 1428 and Sir John Luttrell in 1430, 
' rents of assise ' amounting to i o/. ^s. j\d. are de- 
scribed as payable by free tenants. There is, however, 
no mention of villeins or copyholders. On the other 
hand, the demesne at Dunster and Carhampton is 
returned as larger than on former occasions, and the 
lord is credited with owning no less than sixty-six 
messuages of the yearly value of 8^. apiece. * Al- 

' D.C.M. IX. 3 ; XIV. 15, 19. 4 inq. post mortem, 6 Hen. VI. no. 32; 

= D.C.M. X. I. 9 Hen. VI. no. 51. 

3 D.C.M. XI. I. 


though the villein could obtain protection in the 
manorial court, the royal courts were wont to regard 
his land as part of the lord's demesne. ^ None of 
the local rolls contain any reference to the fact that 
Carhampton had formed part of the ' ancient demesne ' 
of the Crown, which might have conferred certain 
privileges on the tenants. * 

There are several references to villeinage in the 
court-rolls of Dunster and Carhampton in the reign 
of Henry the Sixth. In 1439, Nicholas son of Payn 
Ekedene paid 3J-. 4^. as head-money for leave to be 
absent for a twelvemonth. ^ Ten years later, there 
is the following entry : — 

" The bailiff is in mercy because he has not distrained 
John Stone, the lord's bondman of blood, to answer the 
lord for having sent his son John to the schools without 
licence, contrary to the custom, 2^- " * 

The roll for 1429 contains a full transcript of an 
inquisition taken at Crowcombe before the steward 
of Richard Biccombe, lord of that manor, certifying 
that a certain Richard West and his sons had always 
been free men. ' Some member of the family may 
have wished to migrate. 

One of the most onerous conditions of unfree status 
was the liability of having to serve as reeve. His 
duty it was to exact from the other villeins the manual 
works that they owed to the lord, and it is easy to 
imagine the bickering that must have arisen when he 
called men away from their little holdings. One 
might dispute the amount of service claimed ; another 
might simply attempt to procrastinate, so as to be 
able to attend to his own crops in favourable weather. 

1 Pollock and Maitland's History of ' D.C.M. xviii. 4. 

English Law, vol. i. p. 363. * D.C.M. xvm. 6. 

- Ibid. pp. 383-406. * D.C.M. XVIII. 5. 

320 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

Small wonder then that the more prosperous villeins 
were generally anxious to avoid an unprofitable and 
thankless task. In 1430, nobody could be found to 
undertake it at Carhampton, and the ' homage ' was 
accordingly amerced at the ' lawday ' of Michaelmas 
term. ^ As the lands held in villeinage were gradually 
converted into copyholds in the reign of Henry the 
Sixth, the tenants, taking them under fresh conditions, 
were careful to stipulate in court that they and their 
successors should not be called upon to serve the office 
of reeve. ^ This led to a fresh tax upon those who 
had not been thus emancipated. In the account for 
1 460, the heading " new rent " records the receipt of 
a shilling apiece from thirty-eight persons for exempt- 
ion from service as reeve of Dunster and Carhampton. "* 
An exactly similar levy was made at Minehead in the 
following year. * Considering that there could not 
be more than one reeve in each manor, it seems 
obvious that the lord got a fresh source of income. 
The " new rent for dyscharging of the reveshippe " 
is mentioned in the Carhampton accounts as late as 
1529. ^ By this time conditions had altered so ma- 
terially that no reeve was really wanted. Rents of 
assise " both of freemen and bondmen {natworuni) 
are mentioned in 1533. ^ 

There is a memorandum of the year 1 648 that a 
certain Rice Richards, who then held a house in 
Gallockstreet at Dunster on a lease for lives, was 
bound " to pay, besides \s. rent per annum, one 
journey with a horse and cart or butt from Minehead, 
or 1 2d. in Hew therof per annum. " ^ 

In addition to the customary services and ' boon- 

1 D.C.M. XVIII. 6. 5 D.C.M. xix. 4, 8 ; XX. 38. 

* Ihid. 6 D.C.M. XIX. 9. 

* D.C.M. XVIII. 4. 7 D.C.M. III. 12. 

* D.C.M. I. 27. 


works ' of villeins in Dunster and Carhampton, the 
medieval lord of the manor received some agricultural 
help from men of a much higher social position. By 
a somewhat uncommon arrangement, the Prior of the 
Benedictine cell at Dunster, the lords of the manors 
of Avill and Withycombe, and the owner of land 
called Gillcotts (Gildencote) were alike bound to 
provide a wagon with two men and eight oxen to 
carry corn or hay for a day apiece. Inasmuch as the 
Mohuns and their successors, the Luttrells, had to 
supply food for the wagoners, these 'carriage-works' 
were valued at only a shilling apiece. ^ In 1376, one 
of them was actually performed, the other three being 
' sold, ' or commuted. The history of the work 
due from the manor of Withycombe is obscure, and the 
works due from Gillcotts and the Prior of Dunster 
cannot have continued after the acquisition of both 
these places by the Luttrells in the sixteenth century. 
With regard to the fourth work, however, there is 
an interesting entry in a rental of 1648, showing that 
John Stocker, esquire, paid a shilling a year as a ' high 
rent ' in respect of Avill to George Luttrell, as lord 
of the manor of Carhampton Barton. This was quite 
distinct from his feodary rent to the Barony of Dun- 
ster, his common fine to the Hundred of Carhampton, 
and his Candlemas rent. ^ Although he was presum- 
ably ignorant of its origin, it may clearly be said to 
represent the old commutation for non-performance 
of a ' carriage-work. ' By 1 746, it had disappeared 
from the rental. 

The Mohun Cartulary contains a copy of part of 
a very curious treatise on husbandry written in French 
in the first half of the fourteenth century for the 

> D.C.M. IX. 2, 3 ; xvm. 2, 4 ; xix. 4 ; » D.C.M. iii. 12. 

XX. 38 ; XXXII. 13. 

322 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

benefit of the lord of Dunster or one of his principal 
agents. In explaining the system that should be fol- 
lowed, it probably illustrates that which was in force 
at the time. The earlier portion being unfortunately 
missing, the document deals only with arrangements 
subsequent to the harvest. It prescribes three valua- 
tions of the crops to be made after the gathering of 
them into barns, and before the threshing. The first 
of these was to be made by the sworn ' homage, ' men 
presumably chosen at the court baron of the manor. 
The writer, however, states that it would not be well 
to attach too much credit to this valuation, as the 
members of the ' homage ' might be afraid of being 
held responsible if the yield should not eventually 
come up to their expectations. The second valuation 
was to be made by the bailiff, sworn upon the book 
of the Gospels. The third was to be made by the 
auditors of the lord's accounts, or, in their absence, 
by the steward or the constable, with two or three 
trustworthy neighbours experienced in such matters, 
and two or three of the older threshers who knew the 
barns and were competent to estimate the yield of every 
sheaf and mow {chescun tasse e meye). After these three 
valuations, the lord would be able, with the advice 
of his council, to say how much grain would be want- 
ed for his household, and how much could be offered 
for sale. 

The treatise then prescribes the appointment by 
the lord and his council of a faithful ' granger, ' who 
was to be supplied with a horse. It was considered 
that one such officer would suffice for the manors 
of Dunster, Minehead, and Kilton, all belonging to 
the Mohun demesne. When the lord or the lady 
was in residence at the Castle, he was to have his 
meals at their board ; at other times he was to eat in 


the Benedictine Priory, or, failing this, in the house 
of some respectable townsman, avoiding, however, the 
tables of the bailiff and the reeve, so that he should 
not be tempted into dishonest ways. These arrange- 
ments suggest that the granger was not to be one of 
the tenants ordinarily resident on the spot. 

The granger was to be made to swear that whenever 
he should come to Dunster to superintend the thresh- 
ing, he would securely lock and seal the doors of 
the barns every evening. Furthermore, he was not 
to be trusted with the custody of the keys, and he 
was to be required to deliver them duly sealed to the 
constable of the Castle, to the Prior, or to some other 
trusty person nominated by the lord. When at Mine- 
head or at Kilton for a like purpose, boarding with the 
Vicar, he was to deliver the keys to his host every 
evening. Considering that these parsons were not 
dependent upon the lord of Dunster, it may seem 
strange that they should be expected to receive his 
servant and undertake responsibility on his behalf. 

The treatise alludes more than once to a ' chariour 
e bernbrutte^ ' who seems to have had some author- 
ity over the threshers. Among various sayings 
quoted by the author, there is one to the effect that 
even if a man employed his own brother as a thresher 
he must watch him with eyes before and behind. 
The husks were to be re-threshed if necessary, and no 
residues were to be given away for the sustenance of 
the destriers, palfreys, or horses of the steward, the 
constable, the bailiff or the reeve. Placed in a separ- 
ate store-house, they would be useful for the lord's 
capons, hens, chickens and pigeons. 

Another saying quoted runs : — 

" Qui de poy ne tient conte 
de leger va a haunte. " 

324 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

The anonymous author suggests that the bailiff or 
some other officer should, during the threshing in 
August, cause the produce of every tenth or twentieth 
sheaf of corn to be put aside, as a criterion of the 
amount that the whole crop should yield. The bailiff 
and the ' chariour ' or ' bernbrutte ' were alike to be 
forbidden to distribute or sell grain to any person 
whatever otherwise than by the standard bushel 
sanctioned by royal ordinance, " without heap or 

The treatise concludes with a recommendation 
that the ' launds ' of Marshwood Park, comprising 
four hundred acres, should be ploughed and sown, 
and that the remainder of it should be enclosed to 
contain the deer. If cowhouses and storehouses 
were established there, Marshwood might, in the 
writer's opinion, be made to yield more profit than 
all the demesne of Dunster. 

Among the endowments given by William de 
Mohun to the monks of Bath, before the year i loo, 
was the tithe of his vines at Dunster, which would 
not have been mentioned in his charter unless account- 
ed of some value. ^ The expense of cultivating the 
vineyard there and the sale of the Ybcal wine are alike 
mentioned in 1 177. ^ An ' extent ' of the manor of 
Dunster made in 1266, shows that thirty-four of the 
villeins were required to dig half a perch apiece in 
the lord's vineyard [in vite) every year, each of these 
works being assessed at ^d. ^ It further states that 
the vineyard comprised seven acres. * The produce 
of the vineyard was, in 1 279, valued at i 8j-. ^ In 
1284, there is mention of a wine-press [pressorium) 

1 Two Chartularies of Bath (S.R.S.), * Mohun Cartulary. 

C. no. 34. * Inq. post mortem, C. Edvv. I. file 

« Pipe Roll, 23 Hen. II. 22 (i). 
* D.C.M. VIII. 4. 


and in i 376 of a ' keeper of the vines ' who received a 
regular salary, his duties doubtless requiring special 
skill and care. ' The exact position of the Dunster 
vineyard is specified in a deed of the year 141 9, which 
shows it to have occupied the sunny slope at the back 
of the house now known as the Luttrell Arms Hotel. ' 
There was also a vineyard at Minehead, and the 
last Lady de Mohun used to have wine sent to her 
therefrom after she had ceased to reside in Somerset. ' 

Her successor at Dunster, Sir Hugh Luttrell, event- 
ually abolished the vineyard, turning it into ordinary 
pasture within the Hanger Park. He had crossed 
the seas several times, and he may well have preferred 
the wine of Bordeaux to any that could be made on 
his own estate. The name of ' le Wynard, ' how- 
ever, survived some time in the yearly accounts of 
the reeve of Carhampton Barton and Dunster. * 

A rental of the manor of Carhampton Barton in 
1648, and a survey made seven years later, show several 
classes of tenants. A few freeholders were still paying 
* high rents ' of small amount although of great 
antiquity. There were forty-seven copyhold estates 
and twenty-eight leasehold estates. Practically, how- 
ever, there was not much difference between them. 
Copyholders and leaseholders alike paid low rents, 
the lord exacting a heavy fine on the expiration of a 
tenancy, and a heriot on the death of each tenant of 
an estate created for two or three lives. By this date 
the manor had ceased to extend beyond the limits 
of the parish, though in itself much smaller than the 
parish. In at least one of the subsisting leases there 
was a stipulation that the tenant should have her 
corn ground at the Dunster mill. In other respects, 

1 Miscellanea (Chancery), bundle 3, ' D.C.M. xxvi. 2. 

no. 21, (5-7) ; D.C.M. ix. 2. * D.C.M. xi. i ; xviii. 2. 

» D.C.M. I. 4 ; VIII. 2. 

326 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

the separation of Carhampton from Dunster was com- 
plete. The manorial courts of Carhampton were 
discontinued in 1867. 

A similar survey of the manor of Dunster in 1650 
specifies thirty-one leasehold estates, yielding altogether 
only 1 2/. ijs. a year, held for lives and subject to fines 
on renewal and heriots on succession. The copyholders 
had entirely disappeared. On the other hand there is 
a list of " Dunster rents called St. Burye's Rents, " 
collected quarterly by the bailiff of the borough. ^ 
Considering that there was no connexion between 
Dunster and the Cornish St. Buryan, the name seems 
at first sight rather puzzling. It appears, however, 
that, during the lifetime of the first Sir Hugh Luttrell, 
his eldest son, John, demised certain burgages and 
lands to Reynold Seynesbury and Margaret his wife, 
and afterwards settled them on their daughter, Cather- 
ine the wife of Thomas Cook of Exeter. ^ Some of 
the details of the transaction are obscure, but it seems 
to have comprised all lands in the western part of 
Dunster that were then in the lord's hand, either as part 
of the original demesne, as purchases, or as escheats. 
The accounts of the reign of Henry the Eighth record 
the receipt of rents for ' Saynsbery londes. ' ^ 

At the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086, 
there were two mills at ' Torre ' which yielded i os. 
a year to William de Mohun. The gradual but 
steady increase in their value is not without interest 
from an economical point of view. As early as the 
year 1279, it had risen to 2/. 13^.4^.* In 1329, Sir 
John de Mohun demised his two corn-mills [molyns 
blaers) at Dunster, with the services of his men due 

' D.C.M. III. 12. < Inq. post mortem, C. Edw. I. file 

' D.C.M. VIII. 2. 22 (i). 

» D.C.M. XIX. 9. 



thereto, to one of the burgesses named Walter Rughe, 
at a rent of 24 marks, that is to say 16/. ^ In 1405, 
the advisory council of Sir Hugh Luttrell granted a 
lease of them for sixty years at a rent of 10/. upon 
condition that the tenants should do all repairs, if 
supplied with such timber as might be necessary for 
the purpose. ^ 

Inasmuch as the mills belonged absolutely to the 
lord, the rent arising from them was never confounded 
with the rent of the little freeholders. In some doc- 
uments indeed it is entered under the heading of the 
manor of Carhampton Barton, as distinguished from 
that of the borough of Dunster. ^ The ' services ' 
mentioned above consisted of course in every tenant's 
bringing his corn to be ground at these mills. The 
privileged miller had no rivals to fear, the mill at 
Avill, in the parish of Dunster, being in a different 
manor, and not belonging to the lord of the Castle. 
Needless to say that the records of the court of Dunster 
contain frequent complaints that he levied exorbitant 
charges upon his helpless clients. 

In 1427, William Person, the lessee of the two 
ancient mills, erected a third, adjoining the Lower Mill, 
the new rent of which was fixed at only 2/. 6s. 8^. 
in consideration of his capital outlay. * Thus in 
143 1 and long afterwards, there were three mills, 
known respectively as the ' Overmylle, ' the ' Nether- 
mylle, ' and the ' Newmylle. ' ^ In 1620, the first 
of these was called ' the Higher Mill, ' while the 
other two, united under one roof, were called ' the 
Lower Mill. ' "^ By 1739, the rent of the water 
grist-mills had been raised to 22/. In 1777, it was 

' D.C.M. viii. 2. * D.C.M. XI. 3 ; xviii. 4. 

* D.C.M. X. 2. * Iiiq. post mortiin,9 Hen. VI. no. 51. 

* D.C.M. XVIII. 2, 4; XIX. Q ; Inq. post "^ I). CM. xv. 10. 
mortem, 9 Hen. VI. no. 51, 

328 A HISTORY OF DUNSTER. ch. ix. 

35/. loj. The Upper Mill has entirely disappeared. 
The Lower Mill, with two wheels, was partly rebuilt 
in 1 80 1 upon the old site, and perhaps to some extent 
according to the old design, some of the windows 
being pointed. Nestling amid lofty trees immediately 
under the precipitous slope of the Tor, and close to 
a clear stream fringed with dock-leaves and meadow- 
sweet, the grist-mill of Dunster has long been a favour- 
ite subject with artists and photographers. In 1886, 
just eight hundred years after the compilation of 
Domesday Book, the rent of the mill was fixed at 
40/., eighty times the nominal amount of its value in 
the reign of William the Conqueror. The wheels, 
however, often stand idle nowadays, the lessee having 
a more important mill at Minehead. 

A quaint little bridge, just below the mill, consid- 
erably altered by Henry Fownes Luttrell in the 
eighteenth century, may represent the Mill-bridge 
mentioned in medieval records. 


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